Nonetheless, the trial court said, lawmakers had violated the Equal Protection Clause by focusing too heavily on race in drawing the contested districts. The Supreme Court affirmed that ruling in North Carolina v. Covington, No. 16-649.
The justices also took action in a separate appeal in the case, North Carolina v. Covington, No. 10-1023. In late November, after the election, the trial court ordered special elections in 2017, about halfway through what would ordinarily be two-year terms for state legislators. It set a March 15 deadline for state lawmakers to draw new maps.
But the United States Supreme Court intervened in January, blocking the November decision. The justices did not explain the move, and their order said that the temporary stay of the lower courts decision would last only as long as it took the justices to consider an appeal from state officials.
On Monday, in an unsigned opinion without noted dissents, the Supreme Court said the trial court had acted too hastily and ordered it to reconsider the matter of whether a special election was warranted.
Although this court has ...