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Supreme Court Set to Hear Virginia Gerrymandering Case

Kelsea Pieters


Next month, members of the United States Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in a case that could reshuffle the Virginia House of Delegates. 


How many African-American voters should be in one House of Delegates district? That’s a question that justices of the Supreme Court are about to hear, a case that could throw out the current map and force a new one.

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says Republicans have had two different ways of looking at the issue.

“They had been denying that racial packing had happened in the lower court, and at the appeals level they changed their argument they changed their argument and said it wasn’t that racial packing didn’t happen, it’s just that we were being political, we were just putting Democrats into a district and we weren’t really paying attention to race," says Kidd.

Virginia legal expert Rich Kelsey says some members of the court are uncomfortable with the idea of majority minority districts in the first place. 

“Some traditional originalists on the court don’t believe you should be using race as a method or methodology to be gerrymandering districts at all," says Kelsey.

Complicating the case is the empty seat on the court. If justices are tied four to four the case would be thrown out and the current map would stand.