Senate Dems file suit to block GOP power grab

Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Donald McEachin filed suit on Monday in Richmond City Circuit Court, on behalf of the Senate Democratic caucus, to stop Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling from breaking an expected tie this January when the State Senate comes back into session and organizes for the next four years.

“The voters elected 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans to the Senate. Yet, in spite of that, the Republicans choose to ignore these results and, instead, claim absolute power and authority,” said McEachin (D-Henrico). “This willingness toignore the evenly divided results of the election is unfair and unacceptable.”

The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment acknowledging that Bolling does not have the constitutional right to cast a vote breaking the expected tie about how the Senate organizes. In addition, the lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction preventing Bollingfrom voting on organization until the issue is resolved. Copies of the lawsuit were provided to Lt. Gov. Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

“In Virginia, only an elected member of the Senate can vote on the rules of the Senate. The lieutenant governor was not elected to the Senate,” said McEachin. “Unfortunately, the Republicans have not shown any inclination to work with us to resolve this impasse. In a 20-20 Senate, power should be shared, but instead, the Republicans insist on an arrogant power grab.”

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