“We are grateful the U.S. Supreme Court has quashed judicial activism and rejected an attempt to nullify the votes of North Carolinians in the 2016 legislative elections.”
Tuesday’s decision comes after the state’s emergency request to halt special elections ordered by a lower court in response to districts being “racial gerrymanders” and violating the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Michael Bitzer, a professor of political science at Catawba College, said North Carolina has historically had redistricting cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court since the 1990s.
“The Court has historically been almost reluctant to be definitive in saying here’s what the exact role of race is in redistricting particularly in North Carolina,” he said.
The emergency motion challenges the constitutionality of special elections as an appropriate remedy for the solution.
“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 emergency motion said.
But Jackson reaffirms that redistricting and special elections are necessary.
“The only people who aren’t in favor of independent redistricting are ones who have decided to rationalize something deeply unethical,” he said.
Phillips said the stay provides the Supreme Court a window of time to determine what they want to do but it delays results further.
“I regret that it does delay justice because a significant court has ruled that the districts that lawmakers ran on this past election were unconstitutional and the average voter, average citizen probably doesn’t have a whole lot of understanding about this and we do need resolution,” he said.
Jackson said the uncertainty will cause this will be the only topic that matters for most legislators until a decision is made.
“Heads are ready to start popping from the pressure.”