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Virginia AG asks court to redraw legislative map

(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 10, 2018 at 4:43 PM EDT
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Virginia's attorney general is asking federal judges to redraw 11 state House districts found to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered and not wait for the General Assembly to do the job.

Attorney General Mark Herring filed his request Monday for the court to begin the process of drawing new maps. Herring, a Democrat, said Virginia Republicans "have made clear" they don't plan to create a new map by an Oct. 30 court-ordered deadline.

The court ruled in June that lawmakers illegally packed black voters into the 11 districts and ordered a new map drawn. Republicans are appealing that ruling and have said they are open to working with Democrats on a remedial plan.

A federal court had to redraw Virginia's congressional map two years ago after lawmakers failed to do so.

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ORIGINAL STORY (Sep. 8):

Virginia's governor wants a federal court to begin the process of redrawing 11 House districts found to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered, saying he believes lawmakers tasked with the job are at an impasse.

Gov. Ralph Northam sent a letter Friday to Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox, urging Cox to ask the court to step in. The Democratic governor says "all signs indicate" the General Assembly won't enact a fixed map by an Oct. 30 deadline the court imposed.

The court ruled in June that lawmakers illegally packed black voters into the 11 districts. Republicans are appealing that ruling.

A spokesman for Cox said in a statement that the speaker was "disappointed" in the letter. Spokesman Parker Slaybaugh says House Republicans are open to working with Democrats on a remedial plan.