The Supreme Court of North Carolina will hold a rare summer session to hear oral arguments on a high-profile redistricting case on 10 July 2012.
We have recently discussed the Court’s uptick in output this year, against the backdrop of some practitioners’ desire for the Court to issue more written opinions and hear more cases. Now, the Court is reconvening to hear a controversial redistricting case in the middle of the Court’s summer break. Lest you get the wrong idea, the summer break traditionally offers the Justices a chance to catch up on any outstanding opinions from the previous term, and to make progress on their many other responsibilities, including their role as promulgators and overseers of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure. It is also the time when the prior terms’ law clerks typically leave their employ, ushering in a new batch of law clerks who have to get up to speed quickly to assist with the upcoming term.
In any event, the substantive stakes of the redistricting case, Dickson v. Rucho, are quite high. (The filings in case are available here, and the docket sheet, here.) The current appeal also presents some useful insight into the appellate process and rules, not least because there are excellent attorneys appearing for the various parties. I’ll write more on those issues soon.