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Del. Miyares: Support the Anti-Gerrymandering State Constitutional Amendment!

Dem Leaders Say NO to Amendment: Miyares

There was a thoughtful item in the Roanoke Times by Del. (and rumored AG candidate) Jason Miyares. Here it is and below are a couple of highlights. I want to give the hat tip for this to the email from Jason’s campaign for something.

A Miyares explanation of the amendment:

This November, voters will have a once-in-a-decade chance to take power away from both Republicans and Democrats in Richmond, and put it into the hands of a nonpartisan commission — the power to draw the district lines for the House of Delegates, Virginia Senate, and Virginia’s eleven seats in the U.S. Congress.

Now a blockbuster!

Unfortunately, Virginia Democrats have done a 180 on the amendment. When control of the General Assembly was in doubt in 2019, both sides supported the compromise which would leave no one with the upper hand.

Now, the Democratic Party of Virginia has taken an official stance against the amendment, encouraging their voters to vote no. It’s not hard to see why. With Democrats in charge of the House, Senate, Governor’s Mansion and Attorney General’s office, unencumbered Democrats could draw Republicans into oblivion.

Here’s more evidence from the Virginia Mercury!

The Democratic Party of Virginia is officially urging voters to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment to create a bipartisan redistricting commission that, if approved in November, would redraw the state’s political maps starting in 2021.

***

The text echoes criticisms Democratic opponents leveled against the measure earlier this year, saying it leaves Republican minorities and conservative judges on the Supreme Court of Virginia with too much power to draw maps that don’t reflect Virginia’s political preferences.

Isn’t that amazing? Power apparently corrupts…

It is also a specious argument. If the commission is truly non-partisan, it will be better than judges deciding. Of course the state supreme court has to oversee the process as needed and the very conservatism the state Dems reject will favor the institutional decision of the commission provided it is not out of which.

Miyares did in fact vote in 2017 to support a redistricting reform amendment (It is one of those reverse motions to table [e.g., kill]) the bill):

HJ 628 Constitutional amendment; Virginia Redistricting Commission established (first reference).

01/11/17  House: Assigned P & E sub: Constitutional
01/30/17  House: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (4-Y 3-N)
YEAS–Minchew, Miller, Hugo, Cole–4.

NAYS–Miyares, Lindsey, Price–3.



It is not saying too much to say: If we reject redistricting reform this fall, we’ll never get it again in the Commonwealth.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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