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Supreme Court to consider Virginia racial gerrymandering challenge

November 13, 2018

The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will once again take up a racial gerrymander challenge to Virginia’s House of Delegates district map.

The map has been in place since 2011 and had strong support from most lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including black Democrats.

But a group of voters later sued, arguing the assembly illegally used racial considerations to draft 12 majority-black districts.

A trial court originally found for the state, but the Supreme Court sent the case back down with instructions to use a different legal standard. On further review, the court did rule one of the 12 districts had been legally drafted.

The state administration has sided with the plaintiffs, leaving the GOP-controlled House of Delegates to defend the original maps.

The justices, in their announcement Tuesday taking up the case, said they would consider whether the House GOP did have standing to defend the maps, as well as the other legal questions.

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