3-Judge Court Stays Its Own Order, with Conditions, in North Carolina Partisan Gerrymandering Case, and It Excoriates the North Carolina Legislators’ Briefing

You can find the order here.

Neither Legislative Defendants’ Motion nor their supporting brief explicitly addresses any of the well-established factors set forth in Hilton. Normally, that failure alone would be fatal to Legislative Defendants’ Motion. See, e.g., Hickman-Bey v. Livingston, No. 2:13-CV-266, 2013 WL 6890767, at *2 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 31, 2013). Nonetheless, given the parties’ agreement, we grant the Motion, subject to the two agreed upon conditions: (1) Legislative Defendants file their Jurisdictional Statement with the Supreme Court by October 1, 2018, and (2) Legislative Defendants seek no requests for extension of time while their appeal is pending before the Supreme Court. If Legislative Defendants breach either of these conditions, the stay will immediately, and without any action by this Court, dissolve. Additionally, if Legislative Defendants breach either of these conditions, this Court will move forward immediately with drawing its own remedial districting plan.

III. Although we exercise our discretion to grant Legislative Defendants’ motion, we admonish counsel for Legislative Defendants regarding their briefing submitted allegedly “in support” of the Motion. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, “[b]y presenting to the court a [brief]—whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it—an attorney . . . certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances,” the brief “is not being presented for any improper purpose” and that “the factual contentions [therein] have evidentiary support[.]” Rather than addressing the relevant legal standard and why Legislative Defendants are entitled to the extraordinary relief of a stay under that standard, counsel for Legislative Defendants devote much of their briefing to making baseless ad hominem attacks against the motives and integrity of this Court and appealing to irrelevant extra-legal sources….

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