News & Observer: Federal court orders new NC legislative elections in 2017

Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers must redraw their legislative districts by March 15 and hold new elections by the end of next year, a federal court ruled Tuesday.

That order follows up on a ruling from this summer that found lawmakers had unconstitutionally relied on race when they drew 28 state House and Senate districts.

Although lawmakers had told the court they should be given more time to redraw their districts and should not have to hold elections until 2018, the three-judge panel disagreed.

“This gives the State a total of seven months from the time the districts were held to be unconstitutional, which is longer than it took the 2011 legislature to redistrict the entire state,” read the order, which was drafted by a three-judge federal district court panel. (Read more)

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WRAL: McCrory blocks state board’s effort to hire outside lawyers in election dispute

Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory’s office has turned down the State Board of Elections’ request to hire lawyers from the Brooks Pierce law firm to defend the state against a federal lawsuit by the Civitas Institute.

McCrory, a Republican, appears to have narrowly lost his re-election bid to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper. Normally, Cooper’s office would defend the state in such cases. However, given the interest by both McCrory and Cooper, the state board decided Sunday to seek outside help.

While Thomas Ziko, a long-time litigator in independent practice, did get approved, a trio of lawyers who work for Brooks Pierce – Charles Marshall, Craig Schauer and Jessica Thaller-Moran – was rejected. Marshall, Schauer and Thaller-Moran, have all either worked for Republican judges before coming to the firm or worked on behalf of GOP causes. (Read more)

Breaking News: Federal court orders NC law makers to redraw districts, hold new General Assembly elections in 2017 – WRAL

In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, a three-judge panel ordered the General Assembly to redraw 28 North Carolina state house and senate districts by March 15, 2017, and to hold a special primary and general election in the fall of 2017.

Additional information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Read more at http://www.wral.com/news/page/12706857/?break_id=16213#qAC4qVmeRoQeTzaK.99