A three judge panel has rejected a motion to delay the primary elections while a lawsuit is heard over the legislative redistricting maps. The NAACP and other liberal groups argued the redistricting plans discriminated against minorities by splitting precincts and packing minorities into districts. But attorneys for the state countered the maps drawn by the those calling for the delay used the very same methods and in some cases went further than the maps approved by the General Assembly.
Senator Bob Rucho (R-Meckenburg) said the ruling saved a lot of confusion and expense.
Update: Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger released the following statement on the ruling.
“These fair, legal and competitive maps once again withstood legal and political scrutiny,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “Today’s decision ensures our primary elections will continue as scheduled, and it lifts a cloud of uncertainty from the elections process. This is an important victory for the voters of North Carolina.”
The opponents of the plans passed by the legislature wanted to delay the primaries for Congress and the General Assembly until July. But under their proposal the Presidential primary and the Defense of Marriage Constitutional Amendment question would proceed as scheduled in May.
At a date yet to be determined the judges will hear the merits of the lawsuit.