Virginia Senate Democrats File Suit to Stop Republican Power Grab

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    I’m glad to see this; if nothing else, it’s about time that the courts decided what the deal is with the powers of the Virginia LG vis-a-vis the Senate That shouldn’t remain unresolved.

    Senate Democrats File Suit to Stop Republican Power Grab; Ask Court to Prevent Lt. Governor from Voting on Senate Organization

    (Richmond, VA) Today, Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Donald McEachin filed suit in Richmond City Circuit Court, on behalf of the Senate Democratic caucus, to stop the Lt. Governor from breaking an expected tie this January when the Senate comes back into session and organizes for the next four years.

    “The voters elected 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans to the Senate. Yet, in spite of that, the Republicans choose to ignore these results and, instead, claim absolute power and authority,” said McEachin (D-Henrico). “This willingness to ignore the evenly divided results of the election is unfair and unacceptable.”

    The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment acknowledging that the Lt. Governor does not have the constitutional right to cast a vote breaking the expected tie about how the Senate organizes. In addition, the lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction preventing the Lt. Governor from voting on organization until the issue is resolved. Copies of the lawsuit were provided to Lt. Governor Bolling and Attorney General Cuccinelli.

    “In Virginia, only an elected member of the Senate can vote on the rules of the Senate. The Lieutenant Governor was not elected to the Senate.” said McEachin. “Unfortunately, the Republicans have not shown any inclination to work with us to resolve this impasse. In a 20-20 Senate, power should be shared, but, instead, the Republicans insist on an arrogant power grab.”

    Senator McEachin will be available to the press today from 1:30pm-2:00pm outside House Room D in the General Assembly Building – before the Joint Meeting of the House and Senate Commerce and Labor Committees.