The Supreme Court issued a surprising stay of an Appeals Court order of special elections in North Carolina following a finding that a number of NC state legislative districts were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. That three-judge court refused to halt the 2016 elections being held under those illegal lines, but ordered the NC legislature to create a new districting plan to fix the constitutional problems for special elections to be held in 2017.
North Carolina asked the court to stay its own order pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. As that is pending, the state filed an emergency motion with Chief Justice Roberts asking for the Chief or the Court to stay the requirement for a special election, in essence pushing the matter to the 2018 elections and giving the new current legislature the freedom from a new round of redistricting and new elections. That is the request the Supreme Court has granted.
This order could be short-lived: the Court will consider whether to take up the underlying appeal in the case in the next two weeks.