GOP lawmakers want the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out all the special master’s districts in the state’s never-ending racial gerrymandering case and return to their original map for the 2018 elections.
Attorneys representing the General Assembly filed a supplemental brief with the high court yesterday. It states that this week’s decision in Abbott v. Perez invalidates the lower court’s holding in North Carolina v. Covington that “the legislature did not do enough to ‘eliminate … the discriminatory effects of the racial gerrymander.'”
The Supreme Court held in Abbott, a racial gerrymandering case out of Texas, that a lower court disregarded the presumption of legislative good faith and improperly reversed the burden of proof when it required the state to show a lack of discriminatory intent in adopting new districting plans.
North Carolina lawmakers contend it is undisputed that they didn’t use race when redrawing the legislative districting map to correct their original racial gerrymanders.
“Because the district court applied an improper standard and invalidated the 2017 Plan without any finding that the 2017 General Assembly acted with an improper motive, the racial gerrymandering
aspect of the decision below cannot stand,” the court document states.
Lawmakers ask the Supreme Court to return to its original remedial map for the upcoming election, noting that it would “cause only minimal disruption to the ongoing election process and is far preferable to holding those elections under a special master’s map that now lacks any legal justification.”
The special master only redrew nine of the 28 state House and Senate districts found to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders after the General Assembly’s maps didn’t remedy the violations.
Lawmakers appealed and the Supreme Court ruled that pending that appeal, only four of those nine redrawn districts could be used.
You can read lawmakers’ full request below.