The following statement is from Progress Virginia regarding this morning’s Supreme Court ruling on Virginia House of Delegates gerrymandering, which held that “the District Court employed an incorrect legal standard in determining that race did not predominate in 11 of the 12 districts,” that “the District Court misunderstood relevant precedents when it required the challengers to establish, as a prerequisite to showing racial predominance, an actual conflict between the enacted plan and traditional redistricting principles”; that the “District Court also erred in considering the legislature’s racial motive only to the extent that the challengers identified deviations from traditional redistricting criteria attributable to race and not to some other factor”; etc.
Progress Virginia Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in Bethune Hill Case
Richmond, VA – This morning the United States Supreme Court reversed a District Court ruling challenging 12 Virginia House of Delegates districts in Bethune Hill v. Virginia State Board of Election. The Supreme Court said the lower court did not apply the appropriate standard in deciding whether race was an inappropriate motivator in the line drawing. The case is remanded back to the 4th District to reconsider under new criteria. A new decision from the District Court could force a new redrawing of Virginia’s political district lines.
“Today’s decision is a great victory for Virginia voters who want to have a real say in who represents them in Richmond,” said Progress Virginia Executive Director Anna Scholl. “Voters should choose their elected officials, not the other way around. When politicians draw districts that ensure they can’t lose, they rig the game for special interests and the wealthy few. Politicians should not be allowed to use race or other political considerations to turn one election into lifetime tenure. We hope today’s decision leads to new, fair political district lines in Virginia drawn by an independent body to ensure Virginia voters have the final say on who sits in the House of Delegates.”