BREAKING: Court Rejects VA GOP Request to Stay Redistricting Order; Must Act by 9/1

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Here is the court order rejecting Virginia Republicans' request to stay the June 5 order that requires the Virginia General Assembly to draw new congressional maps by September 1, 2015. The General Assembly is now clearly under court order to act by September 1, however much Republicans might not like having fair districts that don't racially "pack" African Americans (in an effort to dilute their voting power and to protect Republican incumbents like Scott Rigell, Randy Forbes, etc.).

P.S. A fair map that accurately reflects the "purple" or even "purplish-blue" partisan division of Virginia would probably end up with 5 or 6 Democratic members of Congress (out of 11), not the paltry 3 Democratic members of Congress (Bobby Scott, Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly) we've got now thanks to gerrymandering.

Gov. McAuliffe: Court has made it clear for third time that "the Commonwealth's gerrymandered maps are unacceptable and must be redrawn." (0.00 / 0[delete comment]
Governor McAuliffe Statement on Redistricting RulingRICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe issued the following statement in response to today's federal court ruling.
"The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has made it clear for the third time that the Commonwealth's gerrymandered maps are unacceptable and must be redrawn.
"I expected this result. It is obvious that existing congressional maps are an unconstitutional tactic to deny Virginia voters, and particularly African-American voters, a full voice in choosing their leaders. That is why I called a special session for later this month and why, on July 28, I issued a letter inviting lawmakers to join me at the state Capitol to work together on new maps based on the principles of equal representation, compact and contiguous districts, and the integrity of communities of interest.
"Legislative leaders have previously stated that they intended to wait until the court process was complete. It is now time for legislative leaders to produce a plan.
"Members of the General Assembly will return to Richmond on August 17 to comply with the federal court order and to fulfill their obligation to their constituents by adopting maps that give all voters a fair opportunity to select their representatives.
"I hope to hear in short order from legislative leaders on specific plans for ensuring that this process is open, nonpartisan and citizen-centered.
"I stand with the voters of Virginia. I am committed to a fair process that ensures that their fundamental right to fair elections is not drowned out by politically manipulated computer programs and cynical attempts to undermine the voting strength of minority voters."