Republican leaders are firing back at a federal court's decision to hire Stanford law professor Nathaniel Persily to redraw the state's legislative boundaries, saying the court never made a ruling explaining why they need to be changed.

The three-judge panel has yet to issue a ruling on the case, which involves claims that some legislative districts are racially gerrymandered.

"Judges do not issue provisional sentences before a defendant is found guilty," Phil Strach, an attorney for the GOP wrote. "Juries do not make provisional damages awards before adjudicating liability; and courts do not craft provisional remedies before finding a constitutional violation."

Persily has already submitted his ideas to change two dozen districts. If approved, many Greensboro voters would be among those whose districts are changed.

Voting-rights advocates who brought the lawsuit have agreed to the changes. But GOP leaders say Persily lacks jurisdiction in the case, and if the lines need to be altered, they should be the ones to do it.

Persily's new districts also put pairs of lawmakers together in the same district several times, meaning they'd have to run against each other to return to the General Assembly in 2019. The judges have said Persily can make some adjustments to reduce the "double-bunking" of incumbents.

It's unclear how the currently comfortable GOP majorities in the House and Senate would be affected by more map changes. The 2011 maps helped Republicans in subsequent elections expand and retain veto-proof majorities that made it easier for them to pass their agenda.


300x250 Ad

300x250 Ad

Support quality journalism, like the story above, with your gift right now.