NC Political Heavy Hitters Battle Over Redistricting

State Leaders Battle Over Redistricting Rights

GREENSBORO, NC -- Two of the state’s political heavy hitters were both in the Triad on Friday.

Governor Roy Cooper and Senate Pro-Tem Phil Berger stood together at an event in Greensboro and even shared a handshake.

But when it comes to issues that affect North Carolinians, most times, the two men couldn't be further apart.

"Now you know that Senator Berger and I have had some high profile disagreements," said Cooper.

"There are things, from a philosophical standpoint, that we just don't see eye to eye on," said Berger.

The latest disagreement is over the process of re-drawing certain legislative districts in North Carolina.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 28 legislative districts were unconstitutional because they were drawn based on race.

Cooper and Berger both agree the lines need to be redrawn.

But the real issue is the process of doing it, the timeline, and who's in charge.

"I think it's clear that this legislature is dragging its feet and it needs somebody to call them in and make sure they do the job," said Cooper.

"The Governor's call for a special session was something that was really outside the scope in a process that's already in the process of taking place," said Berger.

Cooper called a special session Thursday to draw new election maps in the next two weeks.

But the General Assembly canceled it before it started.

Now, a motion has been filed for a panel of judges to order new maps by later this month.

Cooper says Republican legislature is disrespecting the North Carolina Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court by delaying the drawing of new maps.

But Berger says the Governor shouldn't even be involved in the process.

"I don't think there is any question that the lines will be redrawn,” said Berger. “The question is, what's the criteria that we will get from the three-judge panel and what's the timeline that we're looking at?"

“They don't need any guidance from the court,” said Cooper. “They've told them these districts are unconstitutional. These districts have to change and they need to do the job or the courts will do it for them."

The timeline is still unclear.

Cooper wants the election maps redrawn as quick as possible in hopes of having special elections in the changed districts later this year.

But Berger says he's aiming for 2018, after gathering public input and waiting instructions from the court.
 

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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