Redistricting in Virginia
Following the election of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell in 2009 and the 2011 State Senate elections, Republicans took control of the state House and governorship with an equal number of legislators as the Democrats in the Senate. This meant that Republicans had effective control in the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature, with the Republican Lieutenant Governor providing a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.
Census data delivered to Virginia.
Republicans gerrymandered a state legislative map; Governor McDonnell signed the new map.
President Barack Obama won Virginia with 51% of the vote, yet the new gerrymandered maps gave Republicans 73% of the congressional delegation.
Complaint filed alleging that Congressional District 3 was a racial gerrymander in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the race for governor by 3 points, but the gerrymandered maps gave Republicans 67% of the state House.
Court struck down Congressional District 3 as a racial gerrymander. Republicans appealed the case to the Supreme Court.
Voters sued over the state House map, arguing that the map was a racial gerrymander.
A special master was appointed to redraw the congressional map.
A three-judge panel dismissed the case, finding no evidence of racial discrimination in the configuration of the state legislature redistricting map. Plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court rejected the Republican-led challenge to the lower court’s finding of racial gerrymandering. The new, fair, constitutional congressional map remains in place.
The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the panel’s decision, finding the wrong standard was applied by the court in determining whether racial gerrymandering occurred when drawing the state legislative map. The Court remanded the case to the trial court, where it is pending.
With the support of the NDRC, Democrat Ralph Northam won the governor’s race by a 9-point margin with 54% of the vote. In races for the House of Delegates, Republicans won less than 44% of votes statewide, but retain a majority with 51-49 delegates in the chamber.
Virginia voters will have the opportunity to flip the majority in the House of Delegates and pick up seats in the state Senate.