Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, January 11th, 2016
SCOTUS Temporarily Blocks North Carolina's Special Elections
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling ordering North Carolina legislators to redraw state legislative districts by March 15 and hold special elections within the altered districts this fall.
Tuesday's court order granted the request of North Carolina Republican legislative leaders and state officials to delay November's ruling by a three-judge panel. The same lower court last summer threw out 28 state House and Senate districts as illegal racial gerrymanders.
The Supreme Court says its order will stay in place at least until the court decides whether to hear the appeal. If the justices take up the case, the stay will remain in effect pending a decision.
North Carolina Legislators Meet To Organize, Pick Leaders
The 170 North Carolina state lawmakers elected in November are coming to Raleigh to choose leaders and otherwise celebrate their new jobs with family and friends.
The General Assembly will convene at midday Wednesday for a one-day session to hold traditional swearings-in and organize for the next two years.
The Republican-controlled legislature is expected to re-elect Tim Moore of Kings Mountain as House speaker and Phil Berger of Eden as Senate leader. They'll both make speeches to lay out their agenda, which is likely to offer contrasts with new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The General Assembly will return Jan. 25 to get down to business.
NC's Congressional Democrats Support Medicaid Expansion
The Democratic members of North Carolina's congressional delegation have sent a letter to a federal agency expressing their support for a proposal to expand Medicaid in North Carolina.
The letter was sent on Tuesday to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by Reps. David Price, G. K. Butterfield and Alma Adams.
Their letter comes about a week after new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced that he would take action toward expanding Medicaid to more people in North Carolina under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Cooper Expands Lawsuit Against GOP Laws
North Carolina's new Democratic governor is expanding his lawsuit against Republican legislative leaders who pushed through laws just before he got sworn in that reduce the longstanding powers of his office.
Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday broadened litigation he previously filed in state court seeking to block a law that takes the authority to oversee elections away from the governor and gives it to the legislature. Now Cooper is seeking to stop laws requiring his Cabinet to be subject to confirmation by the state Senate and forcing him to retain hundreds of former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's political appointees in state jobs.
NC High Court Delays Hearing Appeals Until Next Month
The winter weather that left icy roads is leading North Carolina's Supreme Court to scrap hearing new cases until next month.
The state's highest court decided hearings scheduled Tuesday would be postponed until mid-February. The justices had planned a longer work day after postponing oral arguments Monday.
Computer Problems Solved At Raleigh-Durham Airport
Technicians at Raleigh-Durham International Airport have resolved a computer problem that officials say led to flight delays from one of its terminals.
A statement on the airport's website says United, American and Delta announced some of their flights were canceled because of the problem. According to the airport, 12 percent of the flights originating from Terminal 2 were canceled until 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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