GOP legislative leaders are denying “inflammatory allegations” in their latest court filing in a state partisan gerrymandering case that they had a voting map mostly completed before beginning a public redistricting process to remedy racial gerrymandering.
The motion was filed Monday to ask a three-judge panel for direction after the plaintiffs in Common Cause v. Lewis filed a motion alleging that lawmakers lied to a federal court to ask for more time to draw the 2011 North Carolina legislative maps.
“One might expect that, with such a bald allegation of misconduct by elected leaders, plaintiffs would have some strong support for it, some smoking gun, or admission,” states the motion filed by the legislative defendants. “But, in fact, they have nothing of the sort. They present no email or other correspondence between Dr. Thomas Hofeller, the legislature’s map-drawing consultant, and any legislator indicating that any legislator knew of Dr. Hofeller’s map-drawing activities as of June 2017.”
The plaintiff’s cite Hofeller’s files — which were turned over to them after his death by his daughter — but they do not include the specific evidence to which they referred.
The legislative defendants state that they believe the plaintiffs in the state case put their false allegations into a court filing to score political points. They ask the court to order the plaintiffs to be divested of the Hofeller files, assess the degree of harm present in the case and possibly disqualify their attorneys.
“It is the Court’s role to take charge of this proceeding and the lawyers practicing before it,” the document states. “The Legislative Defendants therefore agree that direction is appropriate. Plaintiffs are using this proceeding as a platform for baseless political invective. And they are in possession of documents belonging to others and containing express privilege designations through apparently unethical means.”
There has not yet been a hearing scheduled in the case, but the three-judge panel has been asked for guidance from both sides. Read the full motion from the legislative defendants below.