- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2012

RICHMOND — The Richmond Circuit Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to have the court draw Virginia’s congressional districts for the 2012 elections.

The court found that the 2012 General Assembly had the power to draw new congressional districts, and, therefore, the suit brought by six Virginia residents had to be dismissed.

“Once the General Assembly drew new lines, there was simply no need for involvement by the court,” Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II said.

A federal court in Alexandria dismissed a similar case two weeks ago.

Virginia is one of a handful of mostly Southern states that must pre-clear its redistricting plans with the U.S. Department of Justice because of its history of discrimination at the polls. The state is still awaiting word from either the Justice Department or the U.S. District Court for the District over the redistricting map approved earlier this year by the General Assembly. It largely shores up the districts of the state’s eight Republicans and three Democrats, and received input from all of them.

The House of Delegates has also passed emergency legislation introduced by Delegate S. Chris Jones, Suffolk Republican, that would move the state’s June 12 primary date to Aug. 7 if the map isn’t cleared on or before April 3.