Virginia Democrats Say They'll Sue to Protect Parity in State Senate

Disputing the power of the Lt. Gov.

When is a tie not a tie?

Virginia Democrats ceded two seats the Republicans in Virginia state senate in the November 8 legislative election.  Now, both parties have 20 state senators apiece, but Republicans say that's enough to give them a majority.

The GOP has argued that Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who presides over the state senate, gives them the extra vote they need to push forth legislation that Democrats might otherwise have blocked.

Among those, a Republican proposal to change voting districts, now seen by many to be favorable to Democrats.

Those moves don't sit well with Virginia Democrats.  The law surrounding just what kinds of issues the Lt. Gov. can vote is a little murky, and Democrats contend that redistricting is one area that should be off-limits.  In a press released today, Virginia Dems said they are ready to file suit in court to clarify just what Lt. Gov. Bolling is allowed to vote on in the state senate.

"Just two weeks ago, the citizens of Virginia elected 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans to the Senate," Democrat Dick Saslaw of Fairfax writes.  "They have called for divided government and not one-party rule.”

So after the vote of the people, it may come down to the ruling of a judge to determine when a tie is just a tie, or when it's really a majority.

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