- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The latest on a dispute between Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Republican-controlled General Assembly over his appointment to the Virginia Supreme Court and the redrawing of the state’s congressional districts (all times local):

6 p.m.:

Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he will reappoint Justice Jane Marum Roush next month when her initial appointment expires.

McAuliffe told reporters his plans Monday after the state Senate adjourned from a special legislative session meant to produce a new state congressional map and settle a state Supreme Court appointment.

Republicans, angry that McAuliffe had not properly consulted them about Roush’s appointment, tried unsuccessfully Monday to advance their own pick for the high court. GOP lawmakers said Monday that McAuliffe wont’ have the legal authority to reappoint Roush next month because the full General Assembly has not adjourned.



But McAuliffe said there’s legal precedent for reappointing Roush and said the Republican opposition to her appointment has made the GOP look “small” and ineffective.

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3:55 p.m.:

The Virginia Senate has adjourned from a special legislative session meant to produce a new state congressional map without attempting to redraw one.

Democratic senators voted along with a retiring GOP moderate senator to adjourn Monday, a few hours after the special session began.

Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Sen. A. Donald McEachin said it was clear the General Assembly lacked the political will to redraw congressional boundaries before a court-imposed deadline.

In June, a federal court concluded for a second time that legislators in 2012 illegally packed black voters into the 3rd District in order to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents. The panel gave lawmakers until Sept. 1 to draw a new map.

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2:20 p.m.:

The Virginia Senate has voted not to put Rossie D. Alston Jr. on the state Supreme Court.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam provided a tie-breaking vote against electing Alston after the GOP-controlled upper chamber voted 20 to 20 on putting him on the state’s highest court.

Moderate GOP Sen. John Watkins said he could not vote for Alston because he felt like the General Assembly should start over in picking a new state Supreme Court justice.

Republican leaders of the General Assembly had planned to elect Alston Monday instead of Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s pick, Justice Jane Marum Roush.

The Senate vote against Alston does not mean that Roush, who was appointed last month, can keep her seat.

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10:35 a.m.:

Republican lawmakers have refused to interview a Virginia Supreme Court justice appointed by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Members of a judicial selection subcommittee turned away Justice Jane Marum Roush on Monday before interviewing a Republican-backed candidate for the job: Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr.

Democrats vigorously questioned Alston about his state-required financial disclosure forms and about a couple of decisions he made as a circuit court judge. That prompted Republican Del. Jackson Miller to complain that Alston was being “dragged through the mud.”

Republicans are backing Alston after complaining that McAuliffe should have consulted GOP leaders before appointing Roush to the Supreme Court.

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9:50 a.m.:

Republicans in the General Assembly are making clear that their focus during a special session on redistricting will limited to redrawing only the congressional district that a federal panel found was unconstitutional.

A Republican-led committee passed a resolution after a hearing Monday morning setting the terms for the debate on redistricting.

GOP Del. S. Chris Jones made clear at the hearing that the GOP’s intent is to focus on redrawing the 3rd Congressional District only.

Democrats, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, have said the focus of the special session should be on redrawing all 11 of Virginia’s congressional districts.

In June, a federal court concluded for a second time that legislators in 2012 illegally packed black voters into the 3rd District in order to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents.

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9:40 a.m.:

Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he followed regular protocol when making a recent appointment for the Virginia Supreme Court and Republican opposition is unjust.

McAuliffe also said Monday that newly appointed Justice Jane Marum Roush should get a chance to her make her case for why she should remain on the bench during a legislative hearing.

Leaders of the GOP-controlled General Assembly have said they plan to elect Rossie D. Alston Jr. - effectively removing Roush from the bench - during a special session that started Monday.

McAuliffe has accused GOP House Speaker William J. Howell and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. of throwing a “political temper tantrum” because they feel the governor did not properly consult with them prior to picking Roush.

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