State legislative leaders file congressional map appeal with US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Jan.19, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

RALEIGH — Republican state legislative leaders filed an appeal on Friday, Feb. 25, with the U.S. Supreme Court over the court-drawn interim congressional map’s use in the 2022 election. 

House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) announced the move, saying in a statement, “The United States Constitution is clear – state legislatures, not state judges, are responsible for setting the rules governing elections. By striking the General Assembly’s congressional map and redrawing their own, with the help of Democrat partisans, the courts have, once again, violated the separation of powers. This effort to circumvent the elected representatives of the people will not stand.” 

The filing asks the nation’s top court to stay the interim map. Candidate filing, however, resumed on Thursday, Feb. 24, as prescribed by an order from the N.C. Supreme Court in December of last year. 

Since the Constitution allows state lawmakers to determine the manner of holding U.S. House elections, the panel of three state judges overstepped its authority in adopting boundaries that weren’t set by the state House and Senate, an attorney for the Republican leaders wrote. 

The attorney, David Thompson, filed an emergency request asking that the high court set aside the new map while he seeks arguments on the constitutional question before the full court. If the map isn’t set aside, he wrote, his clients will be “losing forever the opportunity to appeal the orders … before the 2022 elections are conducted under a judicially crafted and unconstitutional congressional map.” 

The plaintiffs in the state case that sued the legislature responded, with Southern Coalition for Social Justice attorney Allison Riggs saying, “We are confident this specious attempt to undermine our judiciary will be rejected,” in a press release. The U.S. Supreme Court told Common Cause and other litigants to respond to the stay request by Wednesday, reported the Associated Press. 

Moore continued, saying, “Furthermore, this coordinated effort is funded by Eric Holder and led by disgraced Democrat operative Marc Elias, who have no business in interfering in our elections. I will pursue all legal means to ensure that North Carolina’s elections are decided by North Carolinians and that the constitution and rule of law are followed.” 

A review of documents with the U.S. Supreme Court shows that Chief Justice John Roberts has requested a response from the plaintiffs in the case by Wednesday, March 2. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.