NC Republicans seek moving Congress case to federal court

October 14, 2019 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders are trying to move from state court to federal court a lawsuit challenging the North Carolina congressional map drawn in 2016.

The GOP lawmakers filed a notice Monday in the partisan redistricting litigation that voters filed last month in Wake County court. The lawmakers’ attorneys said the venue change is necessary because complying with the plaintiffs’ demands for a new map would conflict state redistricting rules with the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act.

A federal court granting the move could scuttle the plaintiffs’ case, since the U.S. Supreme Court recently declared federal courts lack authority to rule on partisan gerrymandering claims.

State judges already set a hearing next week on the plaintiffs’ request to block the map’s use and demand lawmakers redraw it for the 2020 elections.