House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox also formally asked the court Wednesday to suspend efforts to redraw 11 House districts found to be racially gerrymandered. A court-appointed expert is scheduled to file a redrawn map by Dec. 7.
The midterm elections have provided a case study on partisan gerrymandering that shows how the drawing of district boundaries can affect who’s elected to Congress.
Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office also filed a separate request for the redistricting case to remain on hold until the Supreme Court acts on the state’s appeal.
The three-judge panel on Wednesday ordered the state to submit the new map by March 7. Otherwise, the court will appoint a commission to produce a redistricting plan for use in the 2020 congressional election.
GOP House Speaker Kirk Cox on Friday cancelled a planned floor session for later this month, saying it would be a waste of time after Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam promised to veto a GOP-drawn map that had the backing of some Democrats.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said Tuesday that he’ll veto any Republican-drawn maps that make it to his desk as part of a special session on racial gerrymandering.
A House committee will meet Thursday to take up maps aimed at fixing districts a federal court found were unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
Virginia House Republicans have filed their own redistricting proposal they say will fix what a court found were unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts.
The Latest on redistricting efforts in the Virginia General Assembly
The special session comes after a federal court in June found that 11 House of Delegates districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. The court ordered lawmakers to redraw the state map by Oct. 30.
Virginia’s General Assembly convened Thursday for a special session meant to deal with court-ordered redistricting, but did not get very far into the process.
A federal court has found that 11 Virginia legislative districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered and ordered lawmakers to redraw the state’s electoral map by the end of October.
The arguments the court heard Wednesday were over an appeal by Republican voters in Maryland who object to a congressional district that Democrats drew to elect a candidate of their own.
The arguments justices will hear Wednesday in the second case, a Republican challenge to a Democratic-leaning congressional district in Maryland, could offer fresh clues to what they are thinking about partisan gerrymandering, an increasingly hot topic before courts.
The court heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit brought by OneVirginia2021, a group that alleges that during the 2011 redistricting process, lawmakers violated a state constitutional requirement that legislative districts be compact.
The three-part series "The making of Marion Barry" looks at how the future mayor got his start in the civil rights movement, how he became a power player in the city and his enduring legacy.