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Parties to racial gerrymandering lawsuit can’t agree on a special master

The parties in a pending racial gerrymandering case told a federal court Wednesday that they could not agree to submit the names of three individuals fit to serve as a special master, should one be appointed to redraw legislative districts.

“Plaintiffs and Legislative Defendants conferred and submitted names to one another (with Legislative Defendants stating that they did so subject to their objections regarding the propriety of any order appointing a special master) but were unable to reach agreement on those names,” the notice states.

A three-judge panel is set to decide whether proposed State House and Senate remedial districts from the General Assembly will be accepted. A special master would be tasked with redrawing any districts the court did not accept in the proposed maps.

On Friday, the panel asked the parties in North Carolina v. Covington to agree on three names of individuals qualified to serve as a special master to avoid any delay should they decide to go that route.

A decision has not yet been handed down by the court — the panel could still decide to accept lawmakers’ proposed maps or the plaintiffs’ alternative maps.

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