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GOP Says Commission to Redraw Contested District Lines “Premature”

Governor McAuliffe yesterday (3/2) called on GOP House leaders to drop their legal fight over redistricting and let an independent, non-partisan panel redraw new boundaries.

In a conference call late yesterday, House Speaker William J. Howell called the Governor’s letter hypocritical and premature.

On Wednesday (3/1), The U.S. Supreme Court instructed a lower court to re-examine whether the Virginia General Assembly unconstitutionally stuffed African-American voters into some districts, that could favor the Republican controlled General Assembly.

President Trump Visits Newport News and Gerald R. Ford Carrier

President Trump took his proposed 54 billion dollar increase in defense spending to a receptive audience at Newport News Shipbuilding yesterday (3/2), and promised a12-carrier Navy aboard the newest, biggest and best, the Gerald R. Ford.

It was a warm reception at the place that builds Navy ships, in a state heavily dependent upon military spending.

His greatest applause came when he talked about his defense budget.

Governor McAuliffe says sequestration cost Virginia $9 billion dollars and 150,000 jobs.

Sessions Recuses and Trump Lauds, But Pressure Continues

Yesterday’s (3/2) assurance that President Trump supports Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the A.G.’s agreement to recuse himself from Russian influence probes didn’t quench the fires over his Congressional testimony--or Russia.

Political analyst Quentin Kidd understands why then-Senator Sessions, serving on the Armed Services Committee, might omit two chats with a Russian ambassador. But Kidd also understands why some are calling for perjury charges. “During the Nixon administration, people were indicted for things that seemed less clear that what we’ve just seen,” said Kidd.

Supreme Court Orders Reconsideration Of Gerrymandering Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to reconsider part of its ruling in a racial gerrymandering case. The suit was brought by a group of African-American voters who claimed Virginia lawmakers violated the 14th amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and shaped a dozen legislative districts with race as a predominating factor.

The Eastern District Court of Virginia dismissed the challenge to 11 of the districts in question.

Anti-Gerrymandering Suit Moves Forward

A Richmond judge has ruled that an anti-gerrymandering lawsuit is free to move forward. The suit centers on whether several legislative districts drawn in 2011 meet required compactness standards.

The challenge was brought on by One Virginia 2021. The group’s Executive Director Brian Cannon was happy with the judge’s ruling Tuesday. “Well, it’s great. We believed in this case from the beginning. Mathematically, you can see they’re not compact,” said Cannon.

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