North Carolina lawmakers trying to stop a special election in 2017 heard back from a three-judge panel in federal court on Wednesday that they should keep moving ahead.
State lawmakers had hoped to put a November ruling on hold that ordered new legislative maps drawn by mid-March for 28 districts. New elections are to be held in any altered districts in 2017.
Lawmakers challenging the ruling said voters went to the polls in November to elect General Assembly members to two-year terms, unaware of the three-judge panel’s plans to order new elections for this year.
But the three-judge panel refused to set aside the schedule in an order released Wednesday.
The ruling states that the number of gerrymandered districts warrants quick relief to voters who sued over the maps. The judges also stated that residents have the right to live under lawful boundaries.
The ruling comes several days after state lawmakers asked U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to intervene and put a halt to the 2017 elections while their appeals are pending of the November ruling and an August ruling that found the districts are illegal gerrymanders.