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US Supreme Court: Some special master districts stand, some stayed

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow some of a special master’s legislative districts to stand for this year’s elections but blocked some pending lawmakers’ appeal.

The case is North Carolina v. Covington, which involves racial gerrymandering. The following House districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties were blocked: 36, 37, 40, 41 and 105.

Those districts were challenged by plaintiffs in the case based on state constitutional claims — a ban on mid-decade redistricting.

Lawmakers argued that the lower federal court did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate the state law claims.

The high court’s order did not specify why justices decided to grant the stay in part and deny it in part.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito would have granted lawmakers’ entire stay request, according to the order. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have denied the entire stay request.

This ruling means that the legislative maps used in this year’s elections will be party drawn by the legislature and partly drawn by the court-appointed special master, Stanford Law Professor Nathaniel Persily.

It also means that there will be more litigation over the districts the Supreme Court stayed.

The candidate filing period for legislative races opens Monday and runs through the end of the month.

 

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