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GOP can’t block new Va. congressional map, Supreme Court rules

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Posted at 5:16 PM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 17:26:32-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Today, the United States Supreme Court denied a request to halt the implementation of new Congressional boundaries handed down from a federal court several weeks ago.

The order for the case was only one sentence long and read: “The application for stay presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied.”

A judge had recently ruled that the proposed congressional map was unconstitutional because it packed in too many African American voters into the 3rd Congressional District, and changed the landscape for surrounding districts, including the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 7th.

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Virginia and Florida are the only two states in the country likely to gain a Democratic seat through the litigation.  Randy Forbes, R-4th, previously called a state court’s decision to change the boundary lines “an overreach and inappropriate,” and said it was to the benefit of Democrats.

The Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) will announce an organizational strategy for the new Congressional boundaries in the coming days.

Virginia’s congressional redistricting case will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 21.

“This is an encouraging development that will allow the Democratic Party of Virginia to make the necessary adjustments to ensure a seamless Election Day with the new district lines,” said DPVA chairwoman Susan Swecker in a statement.

“Racial gerrymandering has plagued our country and Commonwealth for far too long and we are confident that this historic action brings us one step closer to granting Virginians better representation in Congress.”