by Kenneth Fine
In a press conference this afternoon, Governor Cooper called for a special session of the legislature to redraw state House and Senate voting maps recently deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The session, which will be held along with the ongoing regular session, will kick off tomorrow at two p.m. and last for two weeks.Today, the GOP-controlled legislature balked. The House voted 71-44 (mostly along party lines) to cancel the special session, calling Cooper's move a "political stunt" that was "unconstitutional." From the N&O:
Cooper's announcement comes two days after the Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision that twenty-eight state legislative districts in North Carolina are illegally racially gerrymandered. The high court, however, vacated the district court's order to redraw the maps and hold special elections in 2017.
The N.C. House voted 71-44 Thursday morning to cancel Gov. Roy Cooper’s call for a special legislative session for redistricting, making the case that the governor’s move Wednesday was unconstitutional.Democratic leaders clearly disagree that the governor lacks the authority to make such a move. Here is Senate Democratic leader Dan Blue's statement, in which he accused Republicans of trying to "delay justice."
The Senate agreed, citing the same reasons, a few minutes later. The Senate did not hold a vote on the issue, and Republicans cut off Democrats who sought to debate it on the floor.