You can find the court’s unanimous 11-page opinion here. It is clear that the judges (1) think the NCGA dragged its feet repeatedly but (2) it is too late for 2017 special elections. The delay worked in the state’s favor and bought the Republican legislature potentially a longer veto-proof majority in the NC legislature.
New lines must be drawn by September 1 or the Court will draw them. But there’s this carrot for more time:
Upon filing of a motion no later than 5 p.m. on August 21, 2017, supported by evidence that Legislative Defendants (1) publicly disclosed the criteria to be used in drawing the remedial districts, (2) drew and publicly disclosed proposed remedial districting plans applying those criteria and remedying the constitutional deficiencies with the Subject Districts, and (3) made public a method and process for receiving comments and evidence from the public and other legislators, the Court will extend these deadlines for fourteen days.
Bet the NCGA does not do this to buy 14 more days.