Leahy: Virginia Democrats Have No Excuse on Voting Rights

Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly are fired up. The Supreme Court might be ready to toss Roe v. Wade, leaving it up to the states to set their own abortion laws. Before that, there was a state Senate showdown over a bill Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) amended that would have forced the entire Loudoun County School Board to stand for election this November.

On both issues, Democrats found their collective voices and roared — about democracy at the ballot box, protecting abortion rights in the commonwealth and against the generally nefarious designs of Republicans against both.

All of which is expected. It would have been shocking only if Democrats had not taken immediate public stances promising action or promising to be a “brick wall” defending what the party sees as settled, fundamental law.

But there’s little perceptible shock, less outrage and, at best, only a grudging interest in the other big issue cooking in Virginia politics where Democrats, like their Republican counterparts, have adopted a code of silence — and the only brick walls are those keeping the pols away from the field of action.

That issue is voting rights and the principle of one person, one vote.

I’ve written before about the lawsuit my former writing partner Paul Goldman has been waging in a Richmond federal court for almost a year demanding special elections for all 100 members of the House of Delegates this November. The reason: According to court precedent, Virginia’s House Districts are facially unconstitutional.

The question has always been why Democrats — the self-styled party of voting rights — have sat this one out.

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