The Supreme Court of Virginia took control of the state’s redistricting process after the new Virginia Redistricting Commission bogged down on partisan lines and failed to draw maps for either of the legislative chambers or the state’s congressional seats. The commission, made up by party-nominated citizens and legislators, ultimately could not come close to compromise.
By contrast, the experts tasked by the courts to draw the maps described a friendlier process.
“We agreed on almost all issues initially, and the few issues on which we initially disagreed were resolved by amicable discussion,” Republican Sean Trende and Democrat Bernard Grofman wrote in a memo to the court, which they asked be shared with the public along with the maps.
The court will hear public comment on the maps on Dec. 15 and Dec. 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Below is an initial glimpse at the proposed maps.
More often than not, Democrats would have a slight edge in Virginia’s U.S. House delegation, but the proposed map doesn’t cement their current 7-4 advantage, according to an analysis by the special masters.
“In a very good Republican year, Republicans could win a majority of the seats in Virginia’s delegation,” they wrote. “Generally, however, we would expect to see a 6-5 Democratic edge in Virginia’s delegation.”