WNC Residents Sound Off on Disputed Congressional Districts

Feb 15, 2016

Residents of western North Carolina had an opportunity to weigh in on Congressional maps this morning in a public hearing at UNC Asheville.  WCQS's Jeremy Loeb reports.

The series of hearings across the state were hastily scheduled by North Carolina legislative leaders in response to a federal ruling on two state Congressional districts.  3 federal judges ruled lawmakers relied too heavily on race in drawing the 1st and 12th districts, ruling them unconstitutional and requiring new districts be drawn by Friday.  The Republicans who drew the districts have appealed to the US Supreme Court for a stay and Chief Justice John Roberts has yet to rule.  They could be called into a special session on Thursday to draw the maps.

The hearing in Asheville was one of 6 teleconferenced across the state.  The hearings were moderated by state Senator Bob Rucho of Matthews.  Republican Representative Chuck McGrady of Henderson County moderated the Asheville hearing.  In attendance were McGrady, Senator Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine, Rep. Michelle Presnell of Burnsville, and Democratic Rep. Brian Turner of Buncombe County.  The hearing was billed as a chance for lawmakers to hear from residents.