WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, the Virginia Redistricting Commission failed to meet the final deadline for approving new congressional districts. The commission missed an earlier Oct. 25 deadline when Democrats and Republicans deadlocked over different proposals. The failure to draw new congressional districts comes after the commission also missed deadlines to approve state legislative districts.
Due to the commission’s failure to approve any new districts, responsibility for redistricting now falls to the Virginia Supreme Court. The court will hire two outside experts — one selected by Republicans and one selected by Democrats — to prepare maps for the judges to consider. Democrats have nominated three political science professors with experience assisting courts in redistricting cases. Republicans, on the other hand, nominated partisan political operatives with histories of advancing Republican interests. Democrats are now urging the state Supreme Court to reject all three Republican nominees. Once selected by the court, the two experts will have 30 days to create a proposal for the court’s review.