Court Orders Virginia to Redraw Gerrymandered Districts

Court Orders Virginia to Redraw Gerrymandered Districts June 8, 2015

A panel of federal judges has once again invalidated the redistricting maps approved by the Virginia legislature after the 2010 census and ordered them to redraw the districts by Sept. 1st because they gerrymandered the districts to put most of the black voters into a single district.

A panel of federal judges issued a ruling Friday that Virginia lawmakers illegally concentrated African American voters into one congressional district to reduce their influence elsewhere, bringing the state a step closer to being forced to redraw its election map.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia affirmed its earlier decision and ordered the Virginia House of Delegates to redraw the state’s 11-district congressional map by Sept. 1.

The costly and time-consuming process would force the General Assembly back to Richmond for a special session this summer.

But an appeal from the state’s congressional Republicans could derail that timetable.

Attorney Michael A. Carvin, who represented Virginia’s Republican congressional delegation in their appeal of the court’s decision, said another appeal is likely.

“There’s a good chance that we will,” he said. “It was wrong for the same reason the original decision was wrong.”

Of course they’ll appeal it. If they can just get a final ruling delayed, they can hold on to their artificial advantage for another election cycle. This is why the drawing and redrawing of congressional districts should never, ever be done by elected officials.

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