Sunday, March 20, 2016

Virginia 3rd District Case Before SCOTUS Tomorrow

Republicans may well see themselves set to lose a congressional district in Virginia and deservedly so given the obscene gerrymandering that was forced through by the Republican controlled House of Delegates.  Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the case and Republicans will have to convince the Court - likely an impossible task given the even split now on the Court - that the deliberate loading of black voters into the 3rd District to create a safe district for Randy Forbes is not illegal.   Here are highlights from the Daily Press:

Virginia's long-running legal battle over the state's 3rd Congressional District lines will be taken up Monday before the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is the last hurrah for Republican members of Congress hoping to block a redrawn map likely to send an extra Virginia Democrat to Congress later this year. Already U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott's old district has been found unconstitutional, twice, by a lower court.

The Supreme Court agreed to take up the case, and set oral arguments for Monday. But the court declined to keep the old lines in place while the matter was pending. Election preparations are proceeding under the new lines a three judge panel approved in January.

The new map took black voters out of Scott's district, moving them to the 4th District and making it a likely Democratic pickup.

The high court's decision to proceed toward June Congressional primaries with that new map in place signaled, to some, that reversal is unlikely. But the court is hard to predict, though Justice Antonin Scalia's death last month changed the math.

With his seat vacant, eight justices will hear the case.  "I think it's a four-four issue at best," said Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021, a redistricting reform group that has a separate lawsuit targeting House of Delegates districts in Virginia.

"I think the new districts will stay in place," Cannon predicted.

No comments: