U.S. top court to review Virginia voting districts in race case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court docket on Tuesday claimed it will assessment for a second time whether or not Republican legislators in Virginia drew electoral districts in the point out in a way that unlawfully diluted the clout of black voters.
The higher court will hear an charm by the Republican-led point out Household of Delegates of a June ruling by a federal a few-decide panel that claimed the 11 point out Household districts in dilemma all violated the legal rights of black voters to equal safety underneath the legislation underneath the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

Democrats have accused Republicans in Virginia and other states of crafting this sort of legislative maps in a way that crams black and other minority voters into particular districts in order to lessen their all round sway in the point out.

When the litigation initial attained the higher court, the justices very last calendar year threw out an before lower court ruling that had identified the 11 districts, as properly as a person other district, to be lawful. The justices claimed the lower court had not sufficiently analyzed the thing to consider of race by the Republican legislators in the method of drawing Virginia’s electoral map.

The voters who brought the lawsuit accused Republicans of packing black voters into particular districts to diminish their voting electrical power and make bordering districts more white and more possible to help Republicans.The scenario consists of allegations of gerrymandering, a term that refers to manipulating the boundaries of a voting district to improve the clout of particular voters at the expenditure of other individuals.

At issue was the point out legislative map drawn by Republicans right after the 2010 countrywide census. Because then, Democrats have produced gains in Virginia in the two point out and federal elections. The present governor and legal professional typical are the two Democrats.

Virginia Attorney Typical Mark Herring had urged the Supreme Court docket not to hear the scenario, saying the Household of Delegates did not have authorized standing to charm. Tuesday’s brief court order claimed the justices will examine the issue of standing when they consider the scenario.

A ruling in the scenario is thanks by the conclusion of June.

Race can be regarded in redrawing boundaries of voting districts only in particular circumstances, this sort of as when states are trying to find to comply with the federal Voting Legal rights Act. That legislation guards minority voters and was enacted to address a historical past of racial discrimination in voting, particularly in southern states.

Even though the Supreme Court docket for many years has invalidated electoral maps thanks to racial gerrymandering, the justices have not yet produced a definitive ruling on whether or not drawing legislative districts for purely partisan edge violates the Structure.

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