Thursday, April 7, 2011

Virginia redistricting updates:

Virginia House district plan: Passed the House with an overwhelming majority of votes, only a handful of Democratic representatives opposed it.  Passed the Senate with the Senate plan attached as an amendment to the Bill. 

Virginia Senate district plan: Is now attached to the House bill as an amendment.  The House must now vote on the amended bill.  The Virginia Senate modified the plan again.  Some areas were made less atrocious, but the Senate did manage to create my new favorite bottleneck: In District 13 in Chesapeake City the Oak Grove and Bells Mill Li precincts are connected by an approximately 1200 foot stretch of swampland adjacent to the Elizabeth River. 

Virginia Congressional plan:  This was finally released.  The plan is very close to the plan leaked a month ago purportedly supported by the entire Virginia Congressional delegation.  It has some particularly non-compact/non-contiguous districts such as the1, 2, 3, 5, and 11.  What is more interesting about the Congressional plan is the dissatisfaction expressed by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.  Perhaps there is a Voting Rights Act lawsuit in the making.  If I have some more time, I will develop the background of Voting Rights Act litigation.

Virginia Governor: The real story is with the Virginia Lieutenant Governor who has come out in opposition to the Virginia Senate plan.  Either this is political theatre to provide some cover for Governor McDonnell when he vetoes, amends, or rubber stamps the state district plans, or L.G. Bolling is trying to increase his profile on a major political issue.

For other redistricting posts, primary sources, and other information regarding the Virginia Redistricting process in 2011 please see The Road to Redistricting Litigation in Virginia.

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