Monday, April 18, 2011

What Happens If They Can't Agree on a Redistricting Plan?

Not to get too far ahead of the game, but I wanted to know just what would happen if the General Assembly and the governor didn't agree on a redistricting plan.  Or, even if they do, what if the Justice Department refuses to preclear it? Or what if there’s a successful court challenge? What happens then?

The short answer is that someone will file suit in a Virginia federal court and a three-judge panel will hear the case.  If the court follows Cosner v. Dalton, a similar redistricting case from 1981, the November elections would proceed under whatever plan is then in place, whether it’s a new plan or no plan at all, pending a trial on the merits. If the plaintiffs win, the court, as a remedial measure, would enter an order requiring new elections with the amended, court-approved redistricting plan, which likely would be drafted by the legislature.

Let's just hope it doesn't come to that.

1 comment:

  1. or..... the courts will decide...and they'll chose the winning plans from the college competition for BOTH Delegate and Senator districts.

    That would be a GOOD outcome, right?