Request for 2022 General Assembly election still alive in federal court

A new motion was filed this week in the federal lawsuit seeking the Virginia Board of Elections to hold a new election this November for all 100 seats in the House of Delegates. Attorney Paul Goldman filed the suit in the Eastern District of Virginia last year arguing that the current boundaries are invalid because they are based on 2010 Census data. Goldman also sought a temporary injunction to stop the Board in November from certifying the 2021 election results in the House of Delegates for a period of two years. That motion was denied. 

Goldman appealed and this week filed a brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that applies the same legal arguments that led the Eastern District Court in 1981 to order House of Delegates elections that year for a one year term with a new election in 1982. (learn more on Wikipedia)

“The failure of the federal government to timely provide 2020 U.S. Census Data created delays in the Virginia reapportionment process,” reads the summary of the argument. “But this federal failure doesn’t provide a constitutional ‘free pass’ for state officials to arbitrarily decide to violate Appellee’s constitutionally protected voting rights.” 

Goldman argues the districts in place last November violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because some districts had many more voters than others because the reapportionment had not happened yet. He’s asking the three judge panel to take up the case. 

In late December, The Supreme Court of Virginia approved maps drawn by two special masters. 

A section of Goldman’s January 18 brief. Read the whole thing here.

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the January 20, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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