Judge Invalidates Legislative Districts

A state judge has struck down the Republicans’ 2001 state redistricting plan, declaring it to be unconstitutional. Judge Pattisall cited the southeast corner of the state in particular as being divided up on racial boundaries to provide the most voting strength to the smallest number of districts. The new districts, which then-Sen. Emily Couric (D) and Rep. Mitch Van Yahres weren’t shy about insulting, divided up Central Virginia in a highly-unusual fashion that left many wondering who their representative was. After Sen. Couric’s death, there was a special election in the 25th District, which Creigh Deeds (D) won by a landslide. This ruling raises the obvious question of whether that special election was even legal, and what geographic area that Sen. Deeds represents. The Washington Post has the story.

3 Responses to “Judge Invalidates Legislative Districts”


  • The same thing just happened here in North Carolina, but the shoe was on the other foot — the state supreme court ruled that the Democrat-drawn lines were unconstitutional.

    So is gerrymandering now taking place at an unprecedented level, or are the state courts just being more responsive to the legitimate complaints of the oppositon parties?

  • Norh Carolina had a district that went along a highway for miles. This was a place no one lived. The re-districting was based on just minority representation.

    My guess it won’t be overturned.”This ruling raises the obvious question of whether that special election was even legal, and what geographic area that Sen. Deeds represents”

    The current election was legal-the boundaries might not be.

  • from WINA:University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato thinks Democrats may get what they want in the short term, but it’ll create long term pain for the party. A judge with a Democratic heritage has ordered new elections for the House of Delegates this year, after ruling on a lawsuit filed by his fellow Democrats. Sabato says the ruling will create chaos which Democrats apparently feel they need to gain an edge…but the strategy has costs. He also doubts the Democrats have the candidates and the money to win additional seats in a special election. Republicans control the House by a 64 to 34 margin, with two Independents.

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