ocratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican leaders at the General Assembly are, once again, at odds with each other.
The governor called for a special session to redraw legislative districts. But the General Assembly cancelled that session before it even happened.
Republican leadership said what the governor did was unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 28 of the legislative districts are racially gerrymandered.
The State Constitution gives the governor the authority to call for a special session when there is an extraordinary occasion. But Republican leadership said this does not qualify because they are already in regular session.
“Today really is about the authority of the governor in this process,” said Rep. Tim Moore, (R) House Speaker. “Legislative redistricting does not involve the governor. This is entirely a legislative process. The General Assembly draws those districts. The governor doesn’t even have the right to veto that legislation.”
“The court, in a 9-0 vote, has declared these districts unconstitutional,” said Cooper, prior to the announcement the special session would be cancelled. “There’s no further guidance from the court that is needed. All of the guidance is in the opinion.”
The governor’s office said Republican leadership is “thumbing its nose” at the State Constitution.
Some people also showed up at the General Assembly later in the afternoon, including members of liberal group, Progress NC Action. They were critical of lawmakers for not holding the session.
“The citizens of North Carolina need to be choosing their representatives in this building, not their representatives choosing who they want to vote for them,” said Patti Rieser, a Durham resident who was at the General Assembly.
Republicans have called the Governor’s action calling for a special session a political stunt.
Both sides do not agree on the timetable involved here. Republicans said they would wait on guidance from the courts.