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North Carolina Democrats looking for a court to overturn a Republican-drawn Congressional map took a hit today when a three-judge panel denied their motion to delay the primary, scheduled for May 8.
"The court is not persuaded that a delay of the primaries ... will have any meaningful, practical value or materially aid in protecting the rights asserted by the plaintiffs," the chief judge of the panel said, according to WRAL.
Democrats hope that the suit, based on the premise that the new Congressional map is unconstitutional, might lead to the lines being redrawn. But that now seems increasingly unlikely.
“This three-judge panel basically said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to stop the elections and change the maps,” said state Sen. Bob Rucho (R), the chairman of Senate redistricting panel. “This was critical because it basically eliminated the cloud of uncertainty about the election process.”
“It does send a signal that there probably won’t be major alterations to the maps,” said North Carolina Democratic strategist Brad Crone. He added that if the judges had wanted to make major changes they would have left themselves more time.
The candidate filing deadline is Feb. 29.
The Republican-controlled state Legislature drew lines that threaten the political futures of Democratic Reps. Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre and Heath Shuler. Democratic Rep. Brad Miller was drawn into the same district as Rep. David Price (D). He appears likely to slog it out with Price in a contentious primary.
The decennial redraw in North Carolina may end up being the most significant hit to Democrats this redistricting cycle.