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Judge revises proposed court schedule in NC redistricting case

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GREENSBORO — A federal judge has given the opponents of North Carolina’s congressional redistricting maps until Monday to outline their objections.

U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen Jr. asked the plaintiffs to “state with specificity the factual and legal basis for each objection.”

Plaintiffs David Harris and Christine Bowser had sued the state over its 2011 maps that redrew North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts.

A three-judge panel ruled Feb. 5 that the maps were unconstitutional and ordered the state to come up with new ones.

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The plaintiffs now argue that the newly drawn maps, passed into law last week by the General Assembly, are “no more appropriate than the version struck down” by the court.

They proposed a schedule for the court to review the new maps, which included court hearings on March 11 and a final decision by the court no later than March 18. They also suggested judges draw their own map if they don’t like the new boundaries.

The legislature has proposed that candidate filing under the new maps begin March 16.

Osteen on Tuesday gave defendants until March 7 to file a response to plaintiffs’ objections. Plaintiffs have until March 9 to reply.

The judge said in his order that any requests for more time would be “viewed with disfavor.”

If the new maps and filing period remain unchanged, North Carolina’s congressional primaries will be June 7.

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