In a surprise 2-1 decision, the three judge panel upheld the constitutionality of the challenged House of Delegates districts in the Bethune-Hill case. In a 176 page opinion with a strong dissent by 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Keenan, the panel approved of the 55% black voting age population threshold. This same threshold was ruled a racial gerrymander when it applied to the Third Congressional District case earlier this year.
Brian Cannon, the Executive Director of OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting said, “the court had to decide whether this was a racial gerrymander or a political gerrymander. It called these districts a political gerrymander. Despite being antithetical to democracy, political gerrymandering is completely legal. This court’s ruling makes the case for reforming Virginia’s redistricting process to make political gerrymandering illegal. There’s no place in our Commonwealth for racial or political gerrymandering.”
While this lawsuit was dismissed, there is still a strong challenge to the gerrymandered districts brought forward by OneVirginia2021 that avoids the issue of racial gerrymandering and the complicated jurisprudence of the Voting Rights Act. The OneVirginia2021 lawsuit, the only non-partisan redistricting lawsuit filed in Virginia’s history, is based on the state’s requirement for compact districts. Read more at www.onevirginia2021.org/
OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting is a group of dedicated Virginians from across the political spectrum who believe congressional and state legislative districts belong to the citizens of our Commonwealth, and not to any legislator, special interest, or political party. We advocate for a fair process, not a particular political outcome.