Federal Judges Throw Out Virginia GOP’s Totally-Not-Racist ‘Redistricting’ Map (VIDEO)

How can you keep getting elected when you’re a Republican and your mean-old-white-people demographic is slowly-but-surely dying off? Welcome to the magical world of congressional redistricting. When the billionaire Super PAC-funded GOP took over state legislatures in 2010, GOP lawmakers got out their maps and their marking pens to redraw districts across the nation to give their party the advantage.

Both Democrats and Republicans have engaged in the practice of, erm, “creative redistricting” — also called “gerrymandering” — to give themselves safe seats and to get more folks from their party elected. But when you try to shove all the black people who will never vote for you into a single district to lessen their influence — like the GOP did in the state of Virginia — you’ve crossed a line. While there’s some leeway for moving voters around based on which party they vote for, it’s still technically  illegal to to corral people into a single district based on their race.

The Roanoke Times reports a panel of three judges voted three-to-one to literally send the Va. state legislature back to the drawing board. They have until Sept. 1 to redraw their district map in a way that doesn’t cram nearly all the black voters in Virginia into the third congressional district.

4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Allyson Duncan, and U.S. District Court Judge Lilam O’Grady wrote in their opinion:

“Because plaintiffs have shown that race predominated in Virginia’s 2012 plan and because defendants have failed to establish that this race-based redistricting satisfies strict scrutiny, we find that the 2012 plan is unconstitutional and will require the commonwealth to draw a new congressional district plan.”

As for Senior U.S. District Court Judge Robert Payne, apparently he’s fine with racist redistricting, because he dissented. For now, Virginia’s state legislature legislature won’t be happy, because they’ll have to meet and redraw their district boundaries in the sweltering heat of summer. And coming to an agreement may not prove as easy as they’d like: Although the GOP controls both houses, they still need Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to sign off on the new maps.

While Republicans currently control the House of Delegates and the state Senate, McAuliffe would have to sign off on the new plan. That means the governor could hold out for fresh boundaries that make additional congressional districts competitive, giving Democrats a chance to increase their numbers.

In the absence of an agreement by state officials, federal judges could draw the new boundaries.

The prospect that judges could draw new lines based on factors such as compactness, contiguity and communities of common interest — rather than politics — could put additional pressure on legislators to create a more competitive map.


Judges send Virginia’s congressional district map back to the drawing table.

Here’s the video with the report on the U.S. District judges throwing out Virginia’s congressional redistricting map from WTVR.

Featured image/Composite: Video screen grab/WTVR | Scared “gerrymander”/Pixabay | Gavel/ImgKid.