The Court Says, Who Cares What the Constitution Requires?

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    ( – promoted by lowkell)

    I don’t get it.  Maybe somebody can explain it.

    Am I right that the Virginia constitution is clear on the matter of when the Virginia legislature is required to do redistricting?  (In the present case, by the end of 2011.)

    But the Republicans waited until they had full control, after the 2011 elections, to draw the lines in 2012.  Right?

    Then the Democrats brought suit in the state court claiming that the new lines were not drawn according to constitutional requirements.  Yes?

    Now the state court has simply dismissed the case, letting an unconstitutional process stand, uncorrected by the guardians of the law.

    So I don’t get it. How can a court –whose most solemn responsibility is to uphold the constitution– take the position that it need not involve itself in upholding a constitutional requirement?

    Sure,I understand that the Court might be leary of inserting itself into something as charged as redistricting. But is it simply to be expected, and accepted, that Court can duck its responsibility to uphold the Constitution because it’s uneasy with what that would entail?

    Constitutions can be changed, if that’s what’s called for. They can be upheld. But does this not set a precedent that the Virginia state constitution can simply be ignored, and it’s OK with the Court?

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    Andy Schmookler is running for Congress in the 6th Congressional District of Virginia, challenging the incumbent Congressman, Bob Goodlatte.  An award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, Andy moved with his family to Shenandoah County in 1992.  He is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.  

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    • NotJohnSMosby

      What can the courts really do?  The legislature passed a plan last month and sent it to Dept of Justice for review.  There’s nothing the court could really do besides order the legislature to get a plan passed – which has already be done.  I can’t see a case where the courts would say “you missed your deadline so you forfeit your right and duty to draw new lines and we’ll do it for you.”  That may be what some Dems wanted, but it’s a pretty far-fetched idea.