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Legislators oppose special master, allege they have right to fix unconstitutional maps again

Appointing a special master in North Carolina’s ongoing racial gerrymandering case is premature at best and deprives the state and its legislature of due process, according to a new objection filed with the federal court.

A three-judge panel last week appointed Stanford Law School professor Nathaniel Persily to help them further evaluate and possibly redraw nine state House and Senate districts that could still be unconstitutional.

Legislative defendants in North Carolina v. Covington objected Monday and said if any of the districts were found to be again unconstitutional, they should be able to redraw them to correct the violations.

“There is no precedent for a court to preempt the State’s right to cure such districts this early in an election cycle and when there is no evidence that the legislature is deadlocked or otherwise cannot enact new districts to remedy new violations now found by the Court based upon new evidence and new standards,” the objection states.

Legislative defendants also accused Persily of having a history of commenting negatively on North Carolina districting matters and of working on districting matters in conjunction with organizations
who are allied with the plaintiffs in Covington.

They state in the objection that they must be given more time and the opportunity to question Persily about his publications and assess whether he is free of conflict.

You can read the full objection here.

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