Last month, a panel of federal judges from the Eastern District of Virginia tossed out the Congressional district lines drawn by the General Assembly, and instituted a new set of boundaries changing the composition of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th Congressional districts.
According to a member of Virginia’s Republican Congressional delegation, today the Supreme Court has denied the delegation’s request to delay implementation of the new lines at least until the Court rules on their underlying appeal.
One of the main elements of deciding whether to grant a stay is an assessment of the likelihood that the underlying appeal will be successful. Thus, the Court’s denial of the delegation’s motion for a stay today is probably not a good sign for the Republicans in terms of how the Court may regard their appeal. The Court indicated yesterday that it planned to take up the appeal at a hearing next month.
This means that the political parties in the affected districts must continue as if the current court-drawn lines will remain in effect for the 2016 General Election. If SCOTUS eventually decides to overturn the lines drawn by the lower court, that would mean nomination contests for the affected districts would probably not take place until late summer.
More details as they emerge.
UPDATE: The one sentence ruling reads as follows:
The application for stay presented to the Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied.