fbpx

Legislative defendants still arguing about gerrymandering case they lost, this time in 4th Circuit

Think North Carolina’s voting maps are settled? Think again. Attorneys for Republican lawmakers went before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today and argued to have the Common Cause v. Lewis case moved from state court to federal court — even though it’s already been decided in state court, and the State Board of Elections has prepared for the elections under the newly-drawn maps.

The Common Cause case was filed in November 2018 and challenged partisan gerrymandering in legislative districts as a violation of the North Carolina Constitution. Republican legislative defendants already tried once, unsuccessfully, to move the case to federal court. The case before the 4th Circuit in Richmond today is the appeal of that effort.

A three-judge panel from Wake County Superior Court ruled unanimously in September that the districts were illegally gerrymandered for partisan gain, violating the State Constitution, and they ordered new districts be drawn. The newly-drawn state House and Senate districts were adopted shortly after for the 2020 election, and primary election voting is now underway.

The 4th Circuit three-judge panel presiding over the appellate case is Judge Roger Gregory, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz — both appointed by former President Bill Clinton — and Judge Julius Richardson, a President Donald Trump appointee.

Oral arguments from the case have not yet been posted, but will be available on the 4th Circuit website within one day.

“It’s baffling why the legislative leadership is wasting taxpayer money on this appeal,” said Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause. “The Supreme Court told us gerrymander challenges are best handled at the state court. So we did that and won. [It’s] time for leadership to stop spending tax dollars on frivolous challenges and work with all of us for reform.”

The three-judge panel that presided over the case in state court ordered the legislative defendants last week to pay the plaintiffs $102,343.89 in the Common Cause case. More than $69,000 of that will be paid to the Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer law firm for deposition costs and expert witness fees and the remaining more than $33,000 will be paid to court-appointed referee Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford Law professor.

The costs will be paid with tax dollars and don’t include the cost of the legislative defendants’ attorneys.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Melissa Boughton
Load More In Courts & the Law

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Elections week continues at the state’s high court as justices weigh another appeal involving redistricting. The… [...]

It’s already known that hundreds of thousands of Americans would still be alive if every eligible… [...]

Laura Hogshead, director of the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency, recently testified under oath before… [...]

More than 3,200 people have been exonerated since 1989. Over half of them are Black. Henry… [...]

North Carolina endured the wrath of yet another powerful hurricane last week. And while it comes… [...]

The post A constant storm… appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

While there are many disagreements in education policy, nearly all researchers agree that within the school… [...]

For nearly a decade, North Carolina has forgone billions of federal dollars, prevented the creation of… [...]

REPUBLISHING TERMS

You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to The Pulse and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

License

Creative Commons License AttributionCreative Commons Attribution
Legislative defendants still arguing about gerrymandering case they lost, this time in 4th Circuit