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Partisan gerrymandering plaintiffs, lawmakers can’t agree on special masters

All parties to North Carolina’s latest partisan gerrymandering cases were unable to agree on a special master, according to a new court filing.

A federal-three judge panel had asked parties in League of Women Voters v. Rucho and Common Cause v. Rucho to provide the court with three names of individuals qualified to serve as special master in redrawing the 2016 congressional map.

The panel this week reaffirmed its decision from January striking down 13 congressional districts as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders.

In considering a remedy, the panel warned  it could order the General Assembly to draw a new map and then hold a general election without a primary. Since the state abolished primaries for several partisan state offices, the opinion states lawmakers have “concluded that, for at least some partisan offices, primary elections are unnecessary.”

The judges could also give lawmakers another bite at the apple to redraw the map themselves, but noted they were hesitant to do so. Because of their uncertainty, they intend to appoint a special master in the case and had asked parties to the cases for a list of names by Wednesday.

Parties have until Friday to file their briefs in the cases on how the court should proceed with a remedy. It’s expected this case will be appealed by lawmakers to the U.S. Supreme Court, though nothing has been filed yet.

Special Master by NC Policy Watch on Scribd

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