In the Courts

Learn about the legal efforts shaping the fight to protect voting rights.
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Virginia

Virginia
Virginia

Impact

Virginia Special Primary Election (2014)

Lambert v. Democratic Party of Virginia

Lawsuit filed by individual voters against the Democratic Party of Virginia’s process of nominating a Democratic Party candidate to run for a vacancy in the House of Delegates. The court dismissed the case, finding that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue.

Impact

Virginia CD-2 Nomination Petition Fraud Litigation

Democratic Party of Virginia v. Piper

Lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party of Virginia challenging a fraudulent petition for an independent candidate for Virginia’s Second Congressional District. The court granted the plaintiff’s request for a temporary injunction, finding that less than 1,000 signatures on the candidacy petition for the independent candidate were valid. The court ordered election officials to remove the candidate from the 2018 ballot.

Impact

Virginia Congressional Racial Gerrymandering

Wittman v. Personhuballah

Lawsuit filed on behalf of several Virginia voters challenging the 2012 redistricting map of Virginia’s Third Congressional District, a majority-minority district, as an unconstitutional gerrymander in violation of the 14th Amendment. The district court found the redistricting plan to be unconstitutional as race was a predominant factor in its drawing. Ten Republican members of Congress who had intervened in the case to defend the maps appealed this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which remanded the case in light of a recently-decided racial gerrymandering case (Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama). The district court again found the redistricting plan to be unconstitutional; the Republican congressional delegation appealed again. In a 8-0 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, finding that the delegation lacked standing.

Impact

Virginia House of Delegates Racial Gerrymandering

Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill

Lawsuit filed on behalf of 12 individual Virginia voters challenging the Virginia House of Delegates’ 2011 redistricting map on the basis that 12 House of Delegates districts were drawn as racial gerrymanders in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The district court helf that 11 of the House districts were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The Virginia House of Delegates appealed that decision and the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the appeal in a 5-4 ruling, finding that the House of Delegates lacked standing.

Impact

Virginia Long Lines

Lee v. Virginia State Board of Elections

Lawsuit filed on behalf of the Democratic Party of Virginia and two individual voters challenging the state’s historically long lines to vote and the state’s voter ID law passed in 2013 (after significant Democratic turnout in the 2008 and 2012 general elections) that required voters to present a photo ID when voting. The plaintiffs reached a settlement with the Virginia State Board of Elections and the Virginia Department of Elections that culminated in a consent decree in which the Board and Department agreed to take significant steps to remedy Virginia’s historically long wait times to vote. Regarding the photo ID law, the district court found, and the 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, that the law did not unduly burden minority voting and allowed it to remain in place.