AP reports: It's another election season and North Carolina voters could again be confused by a redistricting lawsuit that alleges state legislative boundaries drawn by the General Assembly are illegal.
If a federal three-judge panel in New Bern sides this week with a group of Republican voters who sued after a state Supreme Court decision last year involving one state House district, the May 6 primary election could be delayed.
And not just the legislative races _ state law requires that primaries for governor, Council of State races, U.S. Senate and U.S. House also would have to be rescheduled for the same date. And the presidential primaries also set for May 6 would be in jeopardy.
Legislative redistricting litigation delayed two of the three previous even-numbered year primaries, in 2002 and 2004. -- Redistricting lawsuit threatens NC primary schedule again
The case is Dean et al v. Leake et al, No. 2:07-cv-00051-FL-AD-RC (E.D. N.C.). The court docket sheet shows this order on 17 Dec. 2007:
The instant dispute raises questions of federal and state law in the context of electoral apportionment in the North Carolina state elections process. A three judge court presides over the dispute as mandated by 28 U.S.C. section 2284. Section 2284 allows a "single judge [to] conduct all proceedings excepts the trial," with limited exceptions that do not apply here. The court conducted this conference at the United States Courthouse, New Bern, North Carolina, on 12/17/07, with plaintiffs appearing through counsel Robert N. Hunter, Jr., and defendants appearing through counsel Tiare Smiley & Alexander Peters. The court addressed a number of matters with the parties, and engaged in preliminary dialogue with Ms. Anita S. Earls, counsel for the proposed intervener, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP").The court memorializes the determinations madeat this conference below: 1. Request for hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction was allowed and hearing set for January 25, 2008 at the United States Courthouse at New Bern, North Carolina, pending final confirmation in the form of clerks office notice, confirming New Bern as the place for hearing and setting the specific time of hearing on January 25, 2008. and hearing set for January 25, 2008 at the United States Courthouse at New Bern, North Carolina, pending final confirmation in the form of clerks office notice, confirming New Bern as the place for hearing and setting the specific time of hearing on January 25, 2008.The court ordered today that any perceived need by the parties, particularly plaintiffs, for discovery or live witnesses which reasonably can be discerned upon the making of defendants' responsive pleading, due tomorrow, shall be presented to the court in telephonic format not later than Thursday, December 20, 2007. The court indicated in view of the expedited scheduleit dispenses with requirement for any written filing raising issues in discovery or the purported need for live witness testimony at hearing, and directed that the parties confer with it by the close of business Thursday through the offices of Ms. Rudd, the case manager. The court herein allows plaintiffs an additional fifteen (15) pages for the making of a consolidated reply not to exceed a total of twenty-five (25) pages except by leave of court. The parties will present to the court by Friday January 18, 2008, a joint report The parties will present to which shall roughly follow the form prescribed by Local Civil Rule 16.1, EDNC, for the making of proposed final pretrial orders. Signed by Chief Judge Louise Wood Flanagan on 12/17/2007.
The complaint is here.