On Thursday Governor Cooper vetoed a bill that would have made face masks optional in North Carolina public schools. SB 173, called the “Free the Smiles Act,” passed with primarily Republican support, but with enough Democratic votes that Republicans could sustain a veto override. Governor Cooper recently relaxed masking recommendations for schools, but he preferred to leave decisions about school mask mandates in the hands of local school boards.
On Wednesday a three-judge trial court panel rejected the redrawn congressional district map and accepted redrawn state legislative district maps submitted by the NC General Assembly in response to an NC Supreme Court decision striking down their initial maps as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. Instead of the NCGA’s redrawn congressional district map, the trial court approved a congressional map created by special masters it had appointed. All parties in the case, both the plaintiffs and the NCGA Republican defendants, objected to one or more of the new maps and filed appeals to the NC Supreme Court. After the NC Supreme Court denied all requests to stay the trial court decision, Republicans in the NCGA appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming the state court’s decision to replace their congressional map with a court-created map violated the U.S. Constitution. Candidate filing also resumed Thursday after the NC Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s decision.
View the maps on Dave’s Redistricting App:
(Pro tip: Under Colors, select Partisan Lean.)