The Latest: Judge upholds ruling on appeals court primaries
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on last-minute court challenges to the scope of North Carolina elections this year (all times local):
A federal judge has refused to delay her order directing that North Carolina hold primaries for appellate court seats this year.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles rejected Wednesday the request of Republican legislators, who last fall decided to cancel primary elections for all judgeships in 2018.
The Democratic Party sued to restore those primaries. Eagles last week issued a preliminary injunction requiring primaries for the Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court, but allowed primaries for trial court seats to remain canceled while lawmakers debate redrawing judicial election districts.
Republicans already have filed an appeal at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but GOP state Rep. David Lewis said Wednesday he’s not that concerned about the state having to hold appellate court primaries if it’s required. Candidate filing starts next Monday.
North Carolina Democratic voters and their allies aren’t giving up on getting more General Assembly districts changed for this year’s elections, even after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Plaintiffs in a longstanding legislative redistricting case in state court Wednesday asked three judges to rule the Republican-controlled legislature violated the state constitution by redrawing five House districts last summer.
A panel of federal judges previously decided those redrawn districts in and around Charlotte and Raleigh were unconstitutional and ordered they revert to lines approved in 2011. But the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday stepped in and temporarily blocked that change while Republican lawmakers appeal.
In Wednesday’s filing, lawyers wrote the state judicial panel has authority to intervene and create the 2011 lines. They want a ruling before candidate filing begins Monday.