Judges appoint redistricting expert, reject GOP objections

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal court is going through with plans to hire an outside expert to redraw several North Carolina legislative districts because the judges worry Republican lawmakers last summer didn’t fix problems involving racial bias found in early boundaries.

An order from a three-judge panel Wednesday appoints a Stanford University law professor to redraw two Senate and seven House districts by Dec. 1. The ruling rejects arguments from GOP legislative leaders that they should get another chance at remapping. The legislature already redrew the lines in August.

The order says special master Nathaniel Persily can look at voter racial data while doing his work but can’t use election results. The judges plan to review his work in a court hearing in January. Candidate filing begins in February.