The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that lower Virginia court decisions against gerrymandered U.S. Congressional districts will stand, declared a “major victory for voting rights and civil rights in Virginia” by the Virginia House Democratic leadership.
House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that House Republicans lack standing in their appeal of the Bethune Hill case, thus upholding the District Court’s remedial redistricting of eleven unconstitutional racially gerrymandered legislative districts in Virginia.
“In the past four elections for the Virginia House of Delegates, hundreds of thousands of Virginians have voted in racially gerrymandered districts that violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. There is nothing more fundamental to our democracy than the right to vote and have a voice in our government so that it is truly representative of the people. The ‘packing’ of African American voters in the 2011 maps has diluted that fundamental right for so many Virginians of color.
“Constitutional maps are more important than the status quo, and they are more important than one party’s entrenched political power. House Republicans have spent millions of taxpayer dollars defending racial gerrymandering in a protracted legal battle — a battle in which they lacked legal standing. Finally, Virginians in the affected districts have the assurance that they will vote in constitutional districts in this year’s election.
“This SCOTUS decision is a major win for voting rights and civil rights in our Commonwealth.”
The 5-4 decision had Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch in the majority.