North Carolina Supreme Court Postpones Primary Elections Amid Redistricting Lawsuits
The North Carolina Supreme Court has ordered a rescheduling of the state’s primary elections from March 8, 2022, to May 17, 2022, amid a blizzard of lawsuits that challenge redistricting maps that were concocted to favor Republicans.
“In light of the great public interest in the subject matter of these cases, the importance of these issues to the constitutional jurisprudence of this State, and the need for urgency of reaching a final resolution the merits at the earliest opportunity, the Court grants a preliminary injunction and temporarily stays the candidate-filing period for the 2022 elections for all offices until such a time as a final judgment on the merits of plantiff’s claims, including any appeals, is entered and a remedy, if any has is required, has been ordered,” the Court wrote in a four-page decision.
A jury trial will take place on or before January 1, 2022, to determine the fate of the heavily gerrymandered districts, after which there will be an expedited appeals process.
Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper hailed the Court’s decision, which comes as GOP state legislatures across the country are sparing no expense in their efforts to disenfranchise voters, especially those of color, who are more likely to support Democrats.
“Today’s order by the state Supreme Court restores faith in the rule of law and it is necessary for the Court to rule on the constitutionality of these unfair districts before the next election,” he said in a statement.
The North Carolina Republican Party, meanwhile, condemned the ruling and accused the Court of political bias.
“The Democrat majority on the N.C. Supreme Court, cloaked in secrecy, just blocked primary elections for hundreds of candidates who already filed to run for office,” the GOP said. “This just injected more chaos and confusion into elections at the direct expense of the people of North Carolina.”