A panel of federal judges on Wednesday denied Republicans’ request to delay a court order to redraw a Virginia elections map that was found to illegally pack African Americans into a single congressional district at the expense of their influence elsewhere. The ruling increases the likelihood that state legislators will have to abide by a call from Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to return to Richmond this month to tackle redistricting. The Republican-controlled General Assembly has been reluctant to accept an earlier court ruling that set a Sept. 1 deadline to adopt new congressional district boundaries. Republicans requested an extension to Nov. 16 to give their congressional counterparts time to exhaust an appeal to the Supreme Court.
… In response to the ruling, McAuliffe said it is obvious that the current congressional map seeks to disenfranchise African American voters.
“It is now time for legislative leaders to produce a plan,” he said in a statement. “I am committed to a fair process that ensures that their fundamental right to fair elections is not drowned out by politically manipulated computer programs and cynical attempts to undermine the voting strength of minority voters.”