Court dismisses lawsuit over GA’s authority to draw congressional districts

The Richmond Circuit Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by six Virginia residents that sought to have the court draw Virginia’s congressional districts for the upcoming elections.

The court found that the 2012 General Assembly had the power to draw new congressional districts, and therefore, the plaintiffs’ suit had to be dismissed.

“We are pleased that the court has granted our motion for summary judgment. As we have said from the very beginning, both the U.S. Constitution and the Virginia Constitution provide that redistricting is a matter to be handled by the General Assembly. Once the General Assembly drew new lines, there was simply no need for involvement by the court. Like the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia which ruled two weeks ago in a similar case, the state court recognized this fact and decided to dismiss the case with prejudice,” Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said.

“Now that the challenges to the General Assembly’s power to draw new congressional lines have all been dismissed, we will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain pre-clearance of the lines under the Voting Rights Act so that the congressional primaries and the general elections can occur with as little confusion and disruption as possible. The law passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. McDonnell meets all constitutional and statutory requirements, and we are ready to litigate that question if necessary,” said Cuccinelli.

The Richmond Circuit Court lawsuit is Little, et al., v. Virginia State Board of Elections, et al., CL11-5253.

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