Virginia Supreme Court upholds legislative districts in redistricting case
The Supreme Court of Virginia issued a decision in Vesilind v. Virginia State Board of Elections today declining to set aside the ruling of a Richmond Circuit Court that the question of whether 11 state legislative districts were drawn in violation of the Virginia Constitution was “fairly debatable” and the districts therefore should be upheld.
The plaintiffs in the case had argued that the legislature failed to give priority to the Virginia Constitution’s requirement that districts be “compact” and instead subordinated compactness to “discretionary” redistricting criteria, such as protecting incumbents.
Gregory Lucyk, a former Senior Assistant Attorney General and now president of the Board of OneVirginia2021, the advocacy organization backing the lawsuit, said they were “disappointed” with the Court’s decision.
“The Courts and the legislature have never defined the standards for compactness to enable the line drawers to apply the constitutional requirement fairly,” Lucyk said. “This lack of clarity in the law has thwarted the purpose of creating compact legislative districts, which is to provide a meaningful restraint on extreme partisan gerrymandering.”
“The Court’s decision shows how important it is that the citizens take action now to amend the Virginia Constitution in order to provide clear and well-defined standards for drawing legislative districts,” said Lucyk, adding that while the court case did not result in the ruling sought by plaintiffs, “it was successful in educating voters about the harm caused by extreme partisan gerrymandering, and it has generated vigorous bipartisan efforts to reform the redistricting process.”
UVA Basketball Fans!
Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”
Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”
Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell