The Supreme Court on Monday said it would intervene in another political redistricting case from Virginia to consider whether state office voting lines were racially gerrymandered. The high court earlier this year examined whether the Republican-led state legislature discriminated against African-Americans in the way they drew Virginia’s districts for the U.S. Congress, a case that ended without a ruling on the merits. In the earlier case a lower court said lawmakers had illegally packed black voters into one district, diluting their influence in other districts. That litigation ended after the Supreme Court said three Republican congressmen didn’t have legal standing to appeal.
The new case, which involves similar claims about over-concentrating minority voters, examines how lawmakers drew district lines for the state’s House of Delegates. Voters from a dozen challenged districts alleged the state legislature violated the Constitution by relying rigidly on race to craft the district map. They said lawmakers made sure that each of the districts had at least a 55% black-voting-age population, without any valid basis for believing such an approach was necessary.
By placing excessively large numbers of black voters in those districts, their influence was diminished in surrounding areas, the challengers alleged.
Lawyers for the Virginia House and Republican Speaker of the House William Howell said in a brief to the high court that the redistricting process was fair and received support from both parties.
Full Article: Supreme Court to Review Virginia Redistricting Case – WSJ.