Feb. 24, 2022
The N.C. Supreme Court late Wednesday rejected all challenges remaining, and this morning boards of elections resumed accepting candidates’ filing papers for the May 17 primary election.
The district maps for Congress, N.C. House and N.C. Senate are therefore settled for the 2022 primary and general elections, barring any appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. That high court’s earlier decisions signaled that redistricting should be settled by state courts, but on Feb. 25 lawmakers filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court over the decision to block the legislature’s congressional map.
For now, then, the state courts have spoken. The N.C. Court of Appeals panel’s Feb. 23 decision is here. The N.C. Supreme Court’s earlier ruling is here. The high court’s opinion, issued Feb. 14, is here.
After the three-judge panel’s decision was released and several legal teams had filed appeals, the N.C. Supreme Court Wednesday evening turned down all appeals filed. As documentation of the Supreme Court’s decisions are available, links will be placed here.
Ironically, the congressional map may be used only for the 2022 election. And so the narrative of contentious and near-constant political redistricting in North Carolina may continue on, and on, and on.
On Feb. 4, the N.C. Supreme Court had ordered the General Assembly to redraw its districting maps and submit them to a three-judge panel by Feb. 18 for review, and completion of the litigation by noon on Wednesday, Feb. 23.
The trial court panel on Feb. 23 rejected the congressional map and installed a new map drawn by three “special masters” – former N.C. Supreme Court justices Bob Orr and Bob Edmunds and former UNC System president Tom Ross – who employed a team of academic experts. The trial court approved the N.C. Senate map, saying its partisan skew was a result of “political geography,” not gerrymandering. The court also approved the N.C. House map, which had exited the legislature with bipartisan support.
The N.C. Supreme Court’s rejection of all appeals allowed the previous court calendar for the 2022 election to proceed.
Filing is scheduled to end on March 4 at noon. The primary will be held May 17.
The Forum’s candidate interviews begin March 8 with judicial candidates in contested primaries.