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Federal court dismisses suit against Virginia’s congressional redistricting

On Friday, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit brought by six Virginia residents that sought to have the court draw Virginia’s congressional districts for the upcoming November elections.

Among other reasons, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed the case based on its finding that the recent actions of the General Assembly in passing a new redistricting rendered the case moot.

“We are pleased that the court has granted the Motion to Dismiss.  Both the United States Constitution and the Virginia Constitution provide that redistricting should be handled by the General Assembly. Because the General Assembly has now completed the required redistricting, it was appropriate for the court to decline to become involved,” said Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II.

“We will continue to defend the law passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor McDonnell.  We continue to work with the U.S. Department of Justice for its pre-clearance of the new districts under the Voting Rights Act and are prepared to litigate that question, if necessary. Our goal is that the will of the people, as evidenced by the votes of their elected representatives, be enforced and that orderly elections occur in November,” said Cuccinelli.

The federal lawsuit is similar to another suit brought by six other Virginia residents in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond which also seeks to have a court draw the new districts.  The plaintiffs in both cases are represented by the same lawyers. Motions for Summary Judgment in the state case are scheduled to be heard on Monday.

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