North Carolina Republicans have filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Justices to block a lower court ruling that found the GOP guilty of racially gerrymandering the state in order to stay in power, Think Progress reported Monday.
The lawsuit was filed just before New Year’s Eve, according to the report.
Gerrymandering has allowed North Carolina Republicans to maintain a veto-proof supermajority in the state assembly even as the state’s popular vote is been split nearly evenly between the Republicans and Democrats.
The report cites a federal district court ruling that found in November that 28 of North Carolina’s 100 districts were unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered — drawn in a way that packs African American voters into as few seats as possible in order to make the surrounding districts easier for Republicans to win. Thankfully, a Federal Court ordered the state to draw new maps by March and hold special elections in those districts later this year.
But if their motion succeeds, the state legislature elections that were supposed to be held this year could be canceled.
AsThink progress writes: The lawsuit is just one of many steps the state GOP has taken to make sure newly elected Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has as little power as possible.
Just before the holidays, in an emergency special session, the Republican majority passed a bill to strip the new Democratic governor of his power to make the necessary political appointments when he takes office, and another that remakes the state Board of Elections and all county elections boards so that Republicans control them in all even-numbered years — meaning every year there’s a major election.
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bills into law just before leaving office, but the Democratic incoming Gov., Roy Cooper, sued on Friday. A Federal Judge in the Wake County Superior Court blocked the new law, calling it “unconstitutional.”
“This complex new law passed in just two days only would accomplish what many Republicans want: making it harder for North Carolinians to vote,” Cooper said.
H/T: Think Progress.