As North Carolina Governor-elect Roy Cooper prepares for his first day in office, the state has filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The state requested that Chief Justice John Roberts stay the ruling of a district court on the state’s redistricting maps — which requires special elections to be held in the fall of 2017 after districts are redrawn in March.
The emergency motion said the district court's ruling was unconstitutional, given that it was made just three weeks after the November elections. Of particular concern is the potential for elected officials to be removed from office before their two-year term expires.
“The district court has now ordered the most extreme and intrusive remedy possible: partial invalidation of an election and imposition of a special election that overrides multiple provisions of the North Carolina Constitution,” the motion said.
The November court decision followed an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel in August that determined the 2011 N.C. House and Senate maps were “racial gerrymanders” but would stand for the 2016 elections given time constraints.