The first hearing in a new partisan gerrymandering case over the 2016 Congressional map has been scheduled for Oct. 24.
The same three-judge panel who decided another recent case over legislative districts, Common Cause v. Lewis, will hear this lawsuit, Harper v. Lewis. The plaintiffs, voters from allegedly gerrymandered Congressional districts, filed a motion to expedite proceedings to enjoin the use of the 2016 map ahead of the 2020 elections.
The judges granted it in part, setting the hearing over the injunction for 10 a.m. Oct. 24 at Campbell University School of Law. The legislative defendants have until 5 p.m. Oct. 21 to respond to the motion for the injunction, and the plaintiffs have until two days later to respond to that document.
The intervenors in the case, three incumbent Congressional members, can also respond to the injunction motion and appear at the hearing.
The motion for the preliminary injunction states the case is straightforward and the court can issue it based solely on the official legislative criteria for the creation of the 2016 plan and the admissions of the legislative defendants and the mapmaker at the time, Thomas Hofeller.
They adopted “partisan advantage” as an official criterion, directing that the districts be drawn to produce a Congressional delegation of “10 Republicans and three Democrats,” the document states.
“North Carolinians have voted in unconstitutional Congressional districts in every election this decade,” it states. “They should not be forced to do so again. This court should issue a preliminary injunction enjoining the 2016 Plan and ordering a new, fair plan for the 2020 elections.”
The judges who will preside over the case are Alma Hinton, Paul Ridgeway and Joseph Crosswhite. Read their full order from this week and the notice of the hearing below.