NCGA Week in Review, Special Edition: Court Decision on Primary Delay

January 20, 2012

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 NC Judges: No Primary Delay over New Redistricting Maps

This afternoon (1/20), a judicial panel voted down a request by parties to delay North Carolina’s primary election over issues with the new redistricting maps recently approved by the General Assembly. The decision by the three-judge special panel, headed by County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway was unanimous.

The decision centered on the fact the panel was not convinced that a delay in the primary would have any practical or material effect in protecting the rights asserted in the plaintiffs’ claim. Plaintiffs in their request for a preliminary injunction to delay the primary argued that the redistricting maps were unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering and numerous boundaries crossing too many county lines. Defendants on the other hand asserted that the boundaries were lawful and a preliminary injunction was meritless.

Plaintiffs in their claim requested that the primary be postponed from May 8th to July 10th. The court cited that a delay would not give enough time for lawmakers to adjust the redistricting maps, gain approval by the U.S. Department of Justice, receive judicial review and still provide a reasonable amount of time for candidate filing and campaigning.

While today’s judicial decision means the primary election will go forward as scheduled, the redistricting maps will still be reviewed by the judicial panel.

Read the full media report by WRAL