The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked a lower court’s order requiring the General Assembly to redraw legislative districts by March 15 and holding special legislative elections this year.
The order blocks a ruling from the U.S. Middle District Court until the Supreme Court acts on the appeal. The justices could choose to hear oral arguments on the lawsuit, probably ending a chance to draw new districts by March. If they do not, the district court’s order would move forward, as would the mandates for new legislative districts and November 2017 elections.
It’s unclear if the Supreme Court’s action removes the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals from considering any appeals.
North Carolina Republican leaders had presented the request to stay — or delay — the lower court’s order to Chief Justice John Roberts on Dec. 30, 2016. Roberts referred the order to the full Supreme Court, which granted the motion.