Virginia Republicans are presumably not too happy right now with Governor Ralph Northam.
On Monday, Northam called for a special session in the Virginia General Assembly to have the district lines for the House of Delegates redrawn. The move comes after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a 2-1 decision that ruled the district lines were drawn based on race, which is, of course, referred to as gerrymandering.
The Washington Post reported:
‘The governor announced Monday that he had signed a proclamation calling lawmakers back to Richmond on Aug. 30. The special session will come after a federal court in June found that 11 House of Delegates districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered and ordered lawmakers to redraw the state map by Oct. 30.’
Julie Carey with NBC tweeted Northam’s statement:
‘In accordance with the provisions of Article IV, Section 6, and Article V, Section 5, of the Constitution of Virginia and the powers thereby vested in the Governor to call a Special Session of the General Assembly;
‘I, Ralph S. Northam, Governor of Virginia, do hereby summon the members of the Senate and the House of Delegates, constituting the General Assembly of Virginia, to meet in Special Session in their respective chambers in the Capitol at Richmond, commencing the thirtieth of August, two thousand and eighteen, for the purpose of redrawing the districts of the Virginia House of Delegates.’
#BREAKING: @GovernorVA calls a special session of the VA General Assembly for Aug. 30 to redraw House of Delegates districts. He writes that lawmakers must work together to “draw lines that represent Virginians fairly. @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/3yYD1Patt5
— Julie Carey (@JulieCareyNBC) August 20, 2018
Northam also remarked in a tweet that it was in the public interest to finalize district lines as soon as possible.
Although Republicans are in the process of appealing the court decision, the House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican, stated he would cooperate, though they would continue the appeals process.
‘The House of Delegates will convene as constitutionally required at Noon on August 30th, though we fully intend to continue to pursue both our request for a stay from the Eastern District Court and our appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
In July, we asked the Eastern District Court to stay its October 30th deadline pending an appeal to the United States Supreme Court this fall. The Eastern District Court has requested additional information from us by August 24th, and we intend to file a notice this week responding to that request and further supporting our request for a stay. We also plan to submit our full appeal to the Supreme Court by next month. The Special Session does not change our plans to pursue all the legal protections provided to us by Federal law and the Constitution.’
— VA House GOP (@vahousegop) August 20, 2018
Time is running out, however, as mid-term elections are coming up quick. You can expect Virginia Republicans to keep pushing for their appeal in an effort to postpone the redrawing of lines to benefit them in November.