NC going to US Supreme Court over redistricting fight

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The state is taking the redistricting fight to the US Supreme Court.

A federal court decided not to change its ruling demanding two congressional districts must be redrawn.

In response, the state filed an appeal Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court to block a district court ruling that could throw North Carolina's March 15th Congressional primaries into chaos.

A three-judge panel on the 4th Circuit ruled Friday that NC Congressional Districts 1 and 12 are unconstitutional and that state Republicans had, as critics charged, "stacked and packed" those two districts with black and minority voters, essentially bleaching the others.

North Carolina's 1st Congressional District.

The court ordered the state to redraw the congressional maps that first became law in the summer of 2011.

The state challenged that ruling Monday but Tuesday, that same three-judge panel upheld its previous ruling and re-affirmed that North Carolina lawmakers need to re-draw congressional maps for Districts 1 and 12.

The state has appealed that decision to the Supreme Court and, now, it's up to Chief Justice Roberts. Roberts handles all appeals of this nature and just rejected a similar request from Virginia. A special court appointee has since been tapped to redraw a district in that state.

North Carolina's 12st Congressional District.

The brief filed by Republicans urges Roberts to make a decision quickly. "Given the short two-week deadline," the brief states, "the fact that absentee ballots have already been sent out, the swiftly approaching March primary date, and the impending election chaos that the three-judge court's directives are likely to unleash, the Court should expedite any response to this application."

Late Tuesday, top state Republicans put out a joint statement, reading "The three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has declined to stay its ruling in the redistricting case, and because a primary election is already under way, the State of North Carolina filed a petition for an emergency stay late Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We are disappointed in the federal trial court's decision," wrote Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) and Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), Chairmen of the Senate and House Redistricting Committees, "because there is so much uncertainty on whether the primary election already under way can continue or whether a new primary election needs to take place - and whether votes that have already been cast can be counted. We hope the U.S. Supreme Court will recognize the urgency and gravity of these questions and issue a stay."

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