NBC 12 has the story:
The judges in Virginia again ruled that race was the predominant factor in redrawing the boundaries. The plan boosted the minority population in Virginia’s only black-majority district, diluting minority influence in surrounding districts. Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott represents Virginia’s 3rd District, which has had a black majority since 1991.
So who does this impact the hardest?
VA-03 is surrounded by VA-02 (Rigell), VA-01 (Wittman), VA-04 (Forbes), and VA-07 (Brat).
In terms of seniority, Forbes will more than likely be safe, followed by Wittman. Rigell’s VA-02 is one of the seats Republicans are keen to protect.
That’s where things get messy.
VA-03 can only come one direction to absorb new voters if Rigell, Forbes, and Wittman have to absorb bits and pieces of VA-03, that means Bobby Scott can only come one way: into Henrico, Richmond City, and potentially the eastern parts of Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell:
Here’s the problem in a nutshell. VA-03 is so supersaturated with Democratic voters, that exploding it could take our 8-3 Republican majority and turn it into a 6-5 Democratic one.
…unless, of course, the General Assembly revives the idea of a minority district in Northern Virginia in say, VA-11 (Connolly).
UPDATE: Jeff Schapiro at the Richmond Times-Dispatch tweets… writes… this…
.@GovernorVA McAuliffe could use his veto to force GOP-run legislature to create two more U.S. House seats that Democrats might win.
— Jeff E. Schapiro (@RTDSchapiro) June 5, 2015
So there’s that.
Of course, some helpful insight from @JadedJD notes that (1) the outcome of a pending SCOTUS case could deny McAuliffe that veto opportunity, (2) the General Assembly might very well pass a Joint Resolution and bypass the Executive Mansion altogether or (3) McAuliffe could simply decline to call a special session… which means the September 1st deadline would pass and the judges would redraw the lines.
Anyone want to wager how that would shake out?
UPDATE x2: Larry O’Dell and Alan Suderman over at the AP have much, much more:
The Virginia case is part of a larger effort by Democrats to challenge congressional districts throughout the country. Strong Republican state-level gains in the 2010 election cycle gave the GOP increased power during once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting. Democrats have alleged in lawsuits in other states, including North Carolina, Florida and Alabama, that Republicans have drawn racially gerrymandered districts.
. . .
Elias also represents several prominent Virginia politicians and is general counsel to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Republican Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell said the “defendants should have the opportunity to fully litigate this case. In light of today’s decision, we are evaluating the next steps.”
Hillary’s staff is involved? In a state McAuliffe is involved in? Imagine that…