Disparate rulings on whether Virginia violated federal law by drawing state House and congressional district maps based on race might pave the way for a grand decision from a higher court. The latest ruling from a special three-judge panel, issued Thursday, threw out a Democrat-backed challenge to Virginia’s House of Delegates district lines. State Republican leaders say the lines, and those that shape the 3rd Congressional District that a similar federal court panel found to be unconstitutional, are legal. “Today’s decision validates our consistently held view that the House (of Delegates) districts were drawn in accordance with the Constitution, all state and federal laws, and in a fair and open process,” House Speaker Bill Howell said in a statement Thursday.
In the Congressional boundaries case, the court is expected to redraw the lines of Rep. Bobby Scott’s district in Southeast Virginia after lawmakers failed to take draw a new map during a special session this summer.
The judges found that lawmakers packed too many black Virginians into Scott’s district, diminishing their voting power elsewhere in the state.
Brian Cannon, Executive Director of One Virginia 2021, wants Virginia to adopt an independent redistricting commission so sitting lawmakers would have less say on crafting their own districts and picking the citizens they would represent.
Full Article: Questions remain on conflicting Va. district rulings – WTOP.