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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.

President Trump to Visit Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford Thursday

The White House has announced the first details of the president’s spending plan, highlighting a $54 billion dollar increase in defense spending, and equal cuts to domestic programs such as the EPA and foreign aid.

He has set a joint address to Congress tonight (2/28) and a trip to Virginia later this week. It will be his first speech to a joint session of Congress, and his first visit to Hampton Roads since the election.

“He’s coming down Thursday afternoon to visit the Ford,” said Beci Brenton, Public Relations for Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Political Analysis for Friday, February 24, 2017

The General Assembly is wrapping up its 2017 session. Majority Leader Kirk Cox has been announced as the new House Speaker after former Speaker William Howell announced his retirement.

The Assembly has managed to present a budget that makes up the forecasted $1.5 billion gap.

Immigration law in Virginia will likely be a heavy focus during elections this fall.

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