GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Latest on a federal court hearing examining an export’s recommendations on altering North Carolina’s legislative districts (all times local):
A redistricting expert says he set no numerical targets on the percentage of black adults in North Carolina legislative districts he was asked to redraw by federal judges now deciding whether to accept his alterations.
Nathaniel Persily (PER’-suh-lee) gave a presentation Friday to a three-judge panel meeting in Greensboro. The Stanford University professor is the “special master” in litigation challenging state House and Senate boundaries drawn by Republicans at the General Assembly. The judges previously found GOP mapmakers improperly used race in drawing districts.
Lawyers for GOP legislators say updated maps they drew last summer should be used in this year’s election — not Persily’s. They say they didn’t use racial data with their updated maps, and that Persily did, so the GOP boundaries should stand.
The judges didn’t immediately announce a decision but are mindful that candidate filing begins Feb. 12.
North Carolina legislative districts are back in court again as federal judges must decide whether to accept proposed alterations by their appointed third-party expert.
A three-judge panel scheduled a hearing Friday in Greensboro to listen to why a Stanford University law professor they hired redrew boundaries the way he did. House and Senate districts drawn by Republican legislators have been in courts since 2011.
The same judicial panel previously struck down 28 districts as illegal racial gerrymanders, ultimately leading GOP legislators last summer to retool their maps. But the judges said there seemed to be lingering problems with race and constitutional violations and brought in a special master.
GOP lawyers already have said they expect to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if the judicial panel approves the professor’s proposal.