Politics & Government

Chief Justice denies request to halt NC redistricting order

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts denied a request to halt a ruling earlier this month that declared the 1st and 12th congressional districts in North Carolina to be racial gerrymanders, meaning elections in those districts are halted until new maps are approved.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts denied a request to halt a ruling earlier this month that declared the 1st and 12th congressional districts in North Carolina to be racial gerrymanders, meaning elections in those districts are halted until new maps are approved. AP

Chief Justice John Roberts entered an order late Friday denying a request to halt a ruling earlier this month that declared the 1st and 12th congressional districts in North Carolina to be racial gerrymanders.

That means the lower court ruling stands as is and any elections in those districts are halted until new maps are approved.

The chief justice, as has been his habit recently, referred the issue to the full court.

It was not clear from the brief ruling where each justice stood on the issue. After the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, many legal analysts speculated that such cases might bring a 4 to 4 ruling.

If the justices are evenly divided, a lower court ruling stands.

The justices have not weighed in on any full challenge to the decision made on Feb. 5 by the three-judge panel in federal district court.

The chief justice only weighed in on whether to halt the effect of their ruling until a full hearing could be held on an appeal.

Before a full appeal could be heard, though, the justices would have to agree to take the case.

Anne Blythe: 919-836-4948, @AnneBlythe1

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