Breaking: Virginia Democrats (Sort Of) Lose Lawsuit on Senate Control


    Well, at least we tried.

    A Richmond Circuit Court judge has denied a top Senate Democrat’s request for a temporary injunction that would keep Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling from casting the tie-breaking vote to give Republicans working control of the evenly-divided Senate.

    In an opinion issued this morning, Judge Beverly Snukals concluded that “the public interest would not be served by having a deadlocked Senate that is unable to agree on organization.”

    So, with that news – and barring a successful appeal at a higher level – it now looks like Republicans will have control of the Virginia State Senate, making Dick Saslaw Minority Leader (unless he’s deposed, which he should be by all rights, but which appears highly unlikely). The only questions at this point are: how badly will Virginia Republican’ts overrreach, and if they do, how bad will the backlash be? Stay tuned…

    UPDATE: Sen. McEachin has issued a statement. Based on this analysis, I may have been wrong that Dems “lost” the lawsuit. Not sure; any thoughts?

    “While I respectfully disagree with  the outcome, it was purely a procedural decision. The judge determined that the matter was not ripe for a final determination on the merits. The opinion was not a decision on the merits of whether the Lieutenant Governor can vote on Senate organization.

    “I call on the Republicans to respect the will of the voters and past history. The senate is evenly divided, 20-20 so committees and responsibilities and power should be divided to reflect that even split, just as the Republicans said in 1996.  Even then Governor Allen spoke to the need for parity under these same circumstances.

    “The Senate Democratic caucus will continue to explore all its options, both legal and procedural, to resolve this issue in a way that reflects the actual outcome on election day, not an arrogant partisan power grab, totally to the benefit of one Party that does not reflect a majority of the Senate,” Senator McEachin concluded.

    • Charles Stanton

      The decision is to be decided on law and the Virginia constitution and not on a manufactured inconvenience to the public interest. Gesh, talk about an activist judge….

    • Will Radle

      The initial reading of the decision by Judge Beverly Snukals suggests ignorance of precedent.  

      Question: At what point is an injunction against the Executive proper when a clear intent to infringe on the Legislative Branch has been expressed?

      A. Will Radle, Jr.

      Creating a Culture of Listening

    • We are very pleased with the court’s decision. We think it is the right decision, and it is what we expected. Hopefully, Senator McEachin and the Democrats will accept the court’s decision, forgo further unnecessary litigation and join us in preparing for the upcoming session and focusing on the important issues facing Virginia families.