NC Lawmakers Refuse Remapping Session

Jun 8, 2017

The state House is protesting Governor Cooper's call for a special session to redraw the state's legislative districts.
Credit Dave Crosby / Flickr

Republican legislators in North Carolina have refused to hold a special session demanded by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to redraw General Assembly districts, saying his proclamation is faulty and unconstitutional.

House Republicans on Thursday upheld a ruling by Speaker Tim Moore that the "extra session" was unnecessary and invalid, in part because lawmakers already are in their annual work session. That means the Thursday afternoon session Cooper wanted won't occur. Senate Republicans rejected the special session idea as well later Thursday.

House Republican David Lewis said it's not within Cooper's right to call for one.

"There is not an extraordinary occasion for an extra session as we are already in regular session," Lewis said.

Cooper is trying to force the hand of GOP legislators to quickly redraw nearly 30 House and Senate districts after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week upholding a lower court decision striking down the lines as illegal racial gerrymanders.

Cooper signed a proclamation directing lawmakers convene Thursday afternoon to begin a session that runs simultaneously with the legislature's current work session. Republican leaders consider the directive a stunt.