The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the long running Virginia redistricting case. The Supreme Court will hear the case in February and issue their ruling in June, the same month that primaries are now scheduled.
Lawyers for Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox have asked the district court to suspend its efforts to re-draw the 11 districts in Virginia ruled to be gerrymander to make majority-minority districts.
Speaker Cox has also asked the court to reschedule the June 11th primaries until September 10th with a candidate filing deadline of July 17th. Cox said it would be ‘chaos’ to have two district maps while waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch,
“You could easily foresee a scenario where a nomination contest is completely invalidated by the Supreme Court’s decision, or a scenario where a candidate declares in one district only to find out later that they have been moved into another district,” Cox said. “Election and party officials could be forced to spend hours of manpower and significant resources to redo paperwork and official election actions. Tens of thousands of voters will not know where they should register or vote, or even which candidates they will have to choose from.”
Bernard Grofman, a University of California-Irvine political science professor, is in the process of redrawing the contested House districts for the court as its appointed expert. Grofman is scheduled to file his map Dec. 7. If the court grants Cox’s request for a stay, work on the map would presumably be suspended until the Supreme Court provides further direction.
More from the RTD,
If the Supreme Court upholds the existing map, Grofman’s plan would become moot. If the high court agrees the current map is unconstitutional or finds House Republicans don’t have standing to appeal, Grofman’s map would have to be completed and implemented on a much tighter time frame.
In 2019 all members of the House of Delegates and the State Senate are up for re-election.