The Latest: Suing voters seek quick maps, election decision

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the proclamation by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper for the General Assembly to hold a special session to redrawn legislative districts (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

North Carolina voters who sued successfully to throw out nearly 30 General Assembly districts as illegal racial gerrymanders are trying to get judges to decide quickly on when new maps should be drawn and whether to hold special elections this fall in altered districts.

Lawyers for those voters filed motions Thursday in Greensboro federal court asking a three-judge panel to require legislators to draw new lines by June 22 or give them the opportunity to file their own boundaries. They also want judges to quickly begin a process to determine if new elections should be held this year under new boundaries.

Getting maps by June 22 is unlikely because state attorneys are supposed to respond to the motions by June 29.

The motions were filed the same day Republican legislators refused to begin a legislative session called by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper with the sole purpose to redraw the maps.


12:20 p.m.

Republican legislators in North Carolina have refused to hold a special session demanded by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to redraw General Assembly districts, saying his proclamation is faulty and unconstitutional.

House Republicans on Thursday upheld a ruling by Speaker Tim Moore that the “extra session” was unnecessary and invalid, in part because lawmakers already are in their annual work session. That means the Thursday afternoon session Cooper wanted won’t occur. Senate Republicans rejected the special session idea as well later Thursday.

Cooper is trying to force the hand of GOP legislators to quickly redraw nearly 30 House and Senate districts after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week upholding a lower court decision striking down the lines as illegal racial gerrymanders.


2:15 a.m.

North Carolina lawmakers are gaveling in a special session demanded by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to redraw General Assembly districts following a U.S. Supreme Court decision this week. But the formal meeting may not last very long.

Cooper signed a proclamation directing lawmakers convene Thursday afternoon to begin a session that runs simultaneously with the legislature’s current work session. Republican leaders consider the directive a stunt. There are also questions whether he had the legal authority to tell the lawmakers the “extra session” must end in no later than two weeks.

Cooper told reporters Wednesday that legislators need to act immediately and draw new boundaries because the nation’s highest court has upheld a lower court decision striking down nearly 30 House and Senate districts as illegal racial gerrymanders.