Virginia House Republicans are fighting to keep hundreds of pages of documents secret as attorneys for Democratic groups push for full access, hoping to find something useful in an ongoing lawsuit over state election maps. The lawsuit targets 12 districts in the House of Delegates, and it follows the same argument that invalidated Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District earlier this year: That the General Assembly’s Republican majority focused on race as it drew maps, packing minority voters into a handful of districts and diluting their voting power in neighboring ones.
The House’s Republican leadership denies this, arguing as it did in the 3rd District case that the districts are constitutional. But, as in the 3rd District case, they’re fighting to keep emails and other communications about the 2011 redistricting process from becoming evidence.
Attorneys with Perkins Coie, which also brought the 3rd District case and fights redistricting battles for Democrats in other states, have asked the court to release every communication House members had about the 2011 redistricting. There’s a particular focus on communications with outside groups, including the Republican National Committee and other GOP groups.