State of Virginia

Virginia House of Delegates Redistricting Challenge (Goldman)

Goldman v. Brink

Lawsuit filed in federal court by a Virginia voter against Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Chairman of the State Board of Elections Robert Brink and other state election officials challenging the 2021 Virginia House of Delegates election for being set to occur under a redistricting plan that allegedly violates both the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions. The plaintiff argues that the redistricting plan for the Virginia House of Delegates, which was created using 2010 census data, contains malapportioned districts that fail to account for population growth since 2010 and violate the principle of one person, one vote. The plaintiff requests that the court declare the state’s legislative redistricting plan invalid under the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions. The plaintiff also asks the court to limit the terms of House of Delegates members elected during the 2021 election to one year and to order that a new election be held in 2022 under a new constitutional redistricting plan. 

On Oct. 12, 2021, the district court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against the Virginia State Board of Elections and the Virginia governor on the grounds of 11th Amendment sovereign immunity, but ordered the plaintiff’s claims against the remaining defendants to proceed. The remaining defendants, four members of the Virginia Board of Elections, appealed this order denying their motions to dismiss to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On March 15, 2022, the 4th Circuit paused the appeal and remanded the case back down to the district court, ordering it to decide whether the plaintiff has standing to sue the defendants in the first place. Then, on June 6, 2022, the district court dismissed the case in its entirety, finding that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the lawsuit under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiff appealed this decision to the 4th Circuit, which ultimately upheld the district court’s order dismissing the case. 

Case Documents (district court)

Case Documents (4th circuit)

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