Weekly Recap: Equality, Fairness, and the Constitution Won, Huge Success at Sold-Out BCG

Democratic Party of VA
Jun 19 · 7 min read

Supreme Court hands Democrats a win in Virginia racial gerrymander case (CNN)

Washington (CNN)In a victory for Democrats in Virginia, the Supreme Court held Monday that the Republican-led Virginia House of Delegates did not have the legal right to challenge a lower court opinion that struck several district maps they had drawn as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

This means court-ordered maps that favored Democrats will continue to be used.

The decision will have an immediate impact on Virginia’s fall legislative elections at a crucial time. The state, once reliably Republican, has slowly drifted left. Republicans have not won a statewide race since 2009, but they have held on to both the Senate and House by slim margins. This fall, every state legislative seat is up for re-election and the GOP holds only a two-seat advantage in both chambers.

Had the court ruled in favor of the Republican challenge, it would’ve greatly improved their chances of holding on to the House of Delegates. Twenty-six House districts were re-aligned by an outside expert after a lower court ruled 11 districts unconstitutional.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion for a 5–4 court, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch.

Because the Supreme Court dismissed the challenge on standing grounds, justices did not rule if the maps constitute an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

“One House of its bicameral legislature cannot alone continue the litigation against the will of its partners in the legislative process,” Ginsburg wrote.

“If the State had designated the House to represent its interests, and if the House had in fact carried out that mission, we would agree that the House could stand in for the State. Neither precondition, however, is met here.”

In a statement released on Monday, the Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox, who brought the suit, vowed that the redistricting battle is not over.

“Unfortunately, the Court’s decision to not decide the merits of this case leaves a number of unanswered questions just two years before the next redistricting cycle,” said Cox. “This could have been prevented if Attorney General (Mark) Herring would have defended the law of the Commonwealth and allowed the court to provide an opinion on the merits of this case.”

Herring declined to defend the re-drawn districts when they were challenged in court. In a tweetposted Monday, Herring lauded the decision by the high court.

“The US Supreme Court has rejected Virginia Republicans’ efforts to protect racially gerrymandered districts. Virginia’s elections this fall will take place in fair, constitutional districts. It’s a good day for democracy in Virginia,” Herring wrote.

Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, who chairs the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, an organization whose goal is to end Republican gerrymandering, said in a statement on Monday that the Court’s decision “is an important victory for African Americans in Virginia who have been forced since 2011 to vote in racially gerrymandered districts that unfairly diluted their voting power.”

“With a new, fair map in place, all Virginians will now — finally — have the opportunity this fall to elect a House of Delegates that actually represents the will of the people,” Holder said.

Beyond the immediate impact of this fall’s elections, the decision could have a far reaching implication on Virginia politics. If Democrats flip either or both chambers this fall, they will be well positioned to control the next round of redistricting after the 2020 census.

DPVA statement on victory in House Redistricting

Democratic Party of Virginia statement on victory in House redistricting case

RICHMOND, VA — DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Virginia House Republicans did not have standing to press an appeal in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill et. al, thus upholding the federal district court’s redrawing of 11 racially gerrymandered House of Delegate districts.

“Equality, fairness and the Constitution of the United States won. Kirk Cox, Todd Gilbert and racial gerrymandering lost.

Thanks to today’s Supreme Court decision, Virginians will go to the polls on November 5th and vote in constitutional districts, not ones that were drawn by politicians like Kirk Cox and Todd Gilbert to suppress the political power of communities of color.

It is a shame that Kirk Cox and Todd Gilbert dragged this fight on for years and all the way to U.S. Supreme Court, wasting taxpayer dollars in an effort to hang on to political power…but today their battle for unfair districts ends in defeat.”

Blue Commonwealth Gala (BCG)

1,788 tickets sold (venue capacity); Over $425,000 raised; momentum for Democrats in crucial state legislative election year

RICHMOND, Va. — As Democrats from across the Commonwealth gathered at Richmond’s Historic Main Street Station Saturday night for the DPVA’s Blue Commonwealth Gala, the Party announced huge attendance and fundraising numbers for the event.

  • The DPVA sold 1,788 tickets for the Blue Commonwealth Gala. That is the event venue’s capacity.
  • The DPVA raised over $425,000 tonight, which will be crucial in funding their campaign efforts to flip control of the General Assembly.
  • The DPVA sold the event out on June 1st, more than two weeks ago.
  • This year’s attendance of 1,788 is a large increase over the 1,304 attendees in 2017 and 913 attendees in 2016.

The event was live streamed on CSPAN TV and can be rewatched here.

“We went big,” said DPVA Communications Director Jake Rubenstein. “The excitement around this year’s Blue Commonwealth Gala has been unreal. Between tickets sold and funds raised, we hit a home run. Virginia Democrats are fired up, united, and ready to take majorities in the General Assembly.”

Democratic presidential candidates Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnestoa were evening’s keynote speakers.

DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker
Congresswoman Elaine Luria VA02
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger VA07
Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton VA10
Congressman Gerry Connolly VA11
Congressman Donald McEachin VA04
Congressman Bobby Scott VA03
Left Mayor of Richmond Levar Stoney, Center Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, Right Senator Jennifer McClellan
Left Senator Mark Warner, Right 72nd Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe
72nd Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe
Left Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn and Charniele Herring, Center Senator Mamie Locke and Leader Dick Saslaw
Senator Amy Klobuchar, 2020 Presidential Candidate
Senator Amy Klobuchar, 2020 Presidential Candidate
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Presidential Candidate
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Presidential Candidate
Senator Mark Warner
Left Senator Mark Warner, Right Packed House at BCG
    Democratic Party of VA

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