Raleigh, N.C. — State lawmakers are now batting 0-for-4 on drawing voting maps, and if it were a baseball game, they would have earned the inglorious golden sombrero for striking out so much.
A panel of three federal judges tosses the legislative districts the Republican-led General Assembly drew five years ago, ruling that lawmakers crammed too many black voters into a few districts to make many others more friendly to GOP candidates. Such racial gerrymandering is illegal.
But the judges said there's not enough time to get new maps in place before the November elections, so the unconstitutional ones will have to be used until lawmakers can redraw them next year.
Also this week, the fight over the state's stance in the safety of well water near coal ash pits reached a boiling point with the resignation of State Epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies, who accused Gov. Pat McCrory's administration of misleading the public in how safety standards were discussed. Several officials in the administration accused a toxicologist on Davies' staff of lying under oath and going rogue on setting such standards.