Judge sidesteps legal issue over Senate control

A judge declined Friday to issue a temporary injunction in a suit brought by a Democratic state senator seeking to block Republicans from seizing control in the evenly divided Virginia Senate.

The suit, brought by Henrico State Sen. Donald McEachin, sought a declaratory judgment that Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, is not entitled to vote in certain matters, including organizational matters, that come before the State Senate.

McEachin in a statement said the Senate Democratic caucus “will continue to explore all its options” to resolve the issue, and called on the GOP to “respect the will of the voters and past history.”

“The Senate is evenly divided, 20-20, so committees and responsibilities and power should be divided to reflect that even split, just as the Republicans said in 1996. Even then-Governor Allen spoke to the need for parity under these samecircumstances,” said McEachin, noting the view of Republicans following the 1995 elections that resulted in a 20-20 split. Republican leaders at that time called on Democrats to share power even though then-Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, a Democrat, could have split any ties in organizational votes in favor of the Democratic caucus.


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