Legal drama continues in second suit to force 2022 House of Delegates election 

There are 131 days until the general election and a new lawsuit to force a Virginia House of Delegates race is still alive. Richmond resident Jeffrey Thomas Jr. filed a suit against the Board of Elections in the Eastern District of Virginia earlier this month that picked up a dismissed complaint that the legislative boundaries in place for the 2021 race were unconstitutional. 

As I reported earlier this month, Judge David Novak had set up a schedule for how information related to the case was to be filed. That schedule has not been followed.

Thomas filed an amended complaint on June 16 that added two additional plaintiffs from two other legislative districts, one of whom is the former president of the Loudoun County NAACP.  Both are appearing pro se, or without a lawyer. The motion also added the Department of Elections as a defendant. 

“Plaintiffs and all other voters and residents in [House District 71], [House District 32], and [House District 10] have had their voting strength and political representation unconstitutionally diluted or weakened by the failure of Defendants to conduct, enact, or oversee decennial constitutional reapportionment, redistricting, or elections,” reads paragraph 54 of the amended complaint. 

Some of the material in the amended complaint (read the document)

The state responded in a motion objecting to the addition of the new plaintiffs and sought a new schedule. Judge Novak responded by granting an extension to July 1 for the defendants to file a motion to dismiss the case. 

A joint stipulation of facts was filed on June 24, but the next day, Thomas filed a motion requesting sanctions against the state for not agreeing to 47 facts that were in previous stipulations. Many of these relate to the population imbalances across the old districts with the most populated being at 130,192 residents and the least having 67,404 people. The plaintiffs allege this is a violation of the Equal Prot

Novak denied this motion on Tuesday, and we wait to see if a motion to dismiss is filed by Friday. 

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 June 30, 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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