SCOTUS puts North Carolina’s 2017 special election on temporary hold

Stayed, for now:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday put a court-ordered legislative redistricting and 2017 special election on hold while it reviews Republican legislators’ appeal in an ongoing lawsuit.

 

A lower federal court ruled months ago that the current legislative districts are an unconstitutional racial gerrymander, and it ordered the General Assembly to draw new districts by March 15 and hold a rare off-year election in altered districts this November.

 

Tuesday’s Supreme Court order puts that order on hold at least until a Jan. 19 conference among the justices at which they will consider an appeal seeking to keep the current districts in place.

State legislators responded along party lines, with Republican House and Senate leaders saying in a joint statement, “We are grateful the U.S. Supreme Court has quashed judicial activism and rejected an attempt to nullify the votes of North Carolinians in the 2016 legislative elections,” while disappointed Democratic Rep. Graig Meyer said, “For Democrats, this is a setback in our plans for winning back power in the legislature, but it does not stop our momentum.”