Richmond judge upholds 11 legislative districts challenged in gerrymandering lawsuit
A Richmond judge issued a ruling Friday upholding the constitutionality of 11 state legislative districts that were challenged as being designed for political purposes.
The ruling by Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant is a setback for redistricting reform advocates in Virginia. The lawsuit was backed by the reform group OneVirginia2021.
The decision will likely be appealed.
Marchant heard evidence during a three-day bench trial in March relating to five state House districts and six state Senate districts drawn by the Virginia General Assembly in 2011.
The plaintiffs who sued the state argued that the districts were a politically motivated gerrymander and were not compact as required by law. But lawyers with the office of Attorney General Mark H. Herring and a private firm retained to represent the Virginia House of Delegates argued that the districts conformed with state constitutional requirements.