Federal Judge Blocks Greensboro Redistricting Law
A federal judge has blocked a law redrawing the electoral map of the Greensboro City Council.
Earlier this month, the General Assembly passed a law redistricting the council. It also makes Greensboro the only city in North Carolina barred from altering its own electoral districts or form of government in the future. The city council, along with a group of citizens, immediately challenged that law in federal court, saying it violated both state statues and U.S. Constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law.
Thursday, after hearing roughly 2 hours of arguments, Judge Catherine Eagles sided with the city, writing the new statue "deprives Greensboro voters, alone among municipal voters in the state, of the right to change the city’s municipal government by referendum." Judge Eagles issued a permanent injunction on the law and ordered a trial to decide the issue take place before the 2017 election.
Many critics pointed out this law redrew Greensboro’s electoral districts in a way that heavily favored Republicans.
And the General Assembly may still get its way. Another bill redistricting the city of Greensboro is still in a House committee, parked there after the current bill passed. Lawmakers could amend that bill to try to get around the judge's concerns and pass it this session. . But it’s not clear if the North Carolina House has the desire to do so. It took three tries to pass the bill in the House, and that spurred calls of bullying by the Senate, where the Greensboro redistricting plan originated.