Virginia’s 2016 congressional elections in November can move ahead using a judge-selected redistricting plan put in place last month despite a pending Supreme Court challenge, under a Supreme Court order Monday.
The justices issued a one-line order to deny a request from 10 current and former Republican members of Congress to stop the redistricting plan in Virginia for the November congressional elections. The court didn’t give a reason for its decision.
You can read the order here. I think this means the Court is somewhat unlikely to reverse the finding of the lower court that the Va redistricting constituted an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. Likelihood of success is one of the factors in granting a stay.
Remember, it was Justice Kennedy who sided with the Court’s liberals in last year’s Alabama case to find racial gerrymandering when Republicans redistricting in Alabama as well. This case raises similar issues. See my piece, Racial Gerrymandering’s Questionable Revival, Alabama Law Review (forthcoming 2015) (draft available)