General Assembly special session set to begin

Posted at 11:28 PM, Aug 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-17 00:08:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Lawmakers will be back in Richmond Monday for a special session of the General Assembly. The primary topics will include redistricting and judge selection.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe called  the 140-member legislative body back into session after a federal court ruled that Rep. Bobby Scott's (D - 3rd) Congressional District was unconstitutional.

The court ruled that there were  too many African-Americans in the district and that they needed to be more evenly spread out throughout the state.

However, Republicans have objected that belief and have vowed to continue the appeals process.

“While we still strongly believe the defendants should have the opportunity to pursue their appeal, the House of Delegates fully intends to exercise its legal right to remedy the flaws with the current Third Congressional District,” said Speaker William Howell.


In an interview with CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George, McAuliffe was more blunt.

"The lines are not fair today, the court has ruled that," McAuliffe said. "What I want to see are lines that are competitive, I think competition is good.  Ninety percent of congressmen are guaranteed reelection; that's not good for democracy."

"Governor McAuliffe has to sign off on the plan and if he vetoes it and they can't reach an agreement with the General Assembly this whole redistricting case will be thrown into the courts," Political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said.

Also among the items to be decided is the next Virginia Supreme Court Judge.

McAuliffe had nominated former Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jane Marum Roush to the post, but Republicans have made clear that they want Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr.

Many political analysts have speculated  GOP lawmakers have made this decision out of political frustration over not being consulted about Roush and the redistricting special session.

Depend on and CBS 6 News for continuing coverage of this important story.