(Matt Demlein, WRVA)

Speaker Cox Going To Supreme Court

Is Appealing Ruling On Delegate Districts

September 04, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Richmond, Va. (newsradiowrva.com) - House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox has filed a formal appeal to the United States Supreme Court in Bethune Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, after the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia reversed its previous opinion and found 11 House districts unconstitutional.
The Jurisdictional Statement presents six questions to the Supreme Court for review, argues that the Court committed clear legal error, argues that race was not the predominant factor in the drawing of the 11 challenged districts, and argues that the challenged districts are narrowly tailored under the Voting Rights Act and are therefore constitutional. A full copy of the appeal can be found here.
“While we are naturally disappointed the Court denied our request for a stay, we will continue to pursue all legal remedies available to uphold the Constitutional redistricting plan adopted in 2011 by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, including the House Legislative Black Caucus and then-Senator Northam,” said Speaker Cox. “The Eastern District of Virginia has once upheld the plan and once overturned it, the second time committing clear legal errors that the Supreme Court should review. A bevy of redistricting laws and court cases have created untenable conflict that demands clear guidance from the Supreme Court. Our appeal seeks both to overturn the district court’s legal errors and establish clarity in this difficult and confusing area of law."

The General Assembly held a special session on the redistricting issue last week but did not act on any new districts.  The Assembly has been ordered to redraw districts by the end of October, and denied a stay last week.  Republicans were looking for a stay while the Supreme Court looked at the case.