Trial Begins Challenging Va. House of Delegates Boundaries

A panel of federal judges will hear arguments about whether the Virginia House of Delegates illegally packed black voters into a dozen legislative districts.

The lawsuit alleges that the House redistricting plan approved in 2011 is unconstitutional because it gerrymanders a dozen districts to concentrate African Americans into 12 legislative districts. As a result, according to the suit, black voters' influence in the other 88 districts is diminished.

The law firm that filed the suit has won similar cases. Last month, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the General Assembly to draw new congressional maps because the existing boundaries illegally pack voters into the 3rd Congressional District, represented by Democrat Bobby Scott.

Tuesday's trial in federal court in Alexandria will be heard by a three-judge panel. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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