North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) will call the Republican-led state legislature into special session in the coming days in an effort to force members to redraw the state’s political maps.
Cooper’s decision comes after the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that 28 state legislative seats were drawn with an improper eye toward the racial makeup of their constituents. The court said those districts illegally diluted the influence of black voters on state politics.
“Republican politicians have been picking their voters instead of voters picking their politicians. They’ve rigged the system, and it’s just wrong,” Cooper said at a press conference Wednesday. “It’s time that North Carolinians be represented fairly.”
North Carolina state law gives legislators 14 days to draw new maps if a court strikes down existing legislative lines. Cooper said calling the special session, which will run for those 14 days, starts the clock ticking.
“If [legislators] adjourn this special session with no maps passed, then that sends a signal to the court that the legislature would rather have the court draw them,” Cooper said.
The Hill added:
“After sweeping to power in the 2010 landslide, Republicans drew maps that consolidated their majorities in the General Assembly. Republicans hold 35 of 50 seats in the state Senate and 74 of 120 seats in the state House of Representatives. They also hold ten of 13 U.S. House seats.
Nineteen of the improperly drawn districts are in the state House. Nine are state Senate districts.
Democrats sued over both the new congressional maps and the legislative district lines, alleging the legislature improperly considered race when drawing those lines. The Supreme Court agreed, first on the congressional maps and this week on legislative maps.
North Carolina Republicans redrew congressional district lines last year, after the lower court struck down the initial version. Legislators only considered partisan voting habits, rather than race, in drawing new lines that maintained the 10-3 delegation sent to Washington.
Democrats sued to block that map too, alleging an improper partisan gerrymander. The Supreme Court is still considering whether to take up that case, possibly along with a second case of alleged partisan gerrymandering out of Wisconsin.”