VA Gov. McDonnell Won’t Rule Out Signing Stealth Gerrymandering Into Law
He’s doing the same “I express displeasure” kabuki he performed before signing the state’s disgusting forced ultrasound bill into law:
…but has not yet said whether he would veto the bill. But to live up to his previous promises, he will have to do just that.
Yesterday, with civil rights legend Sen. Henry Marsh (D) attending the inauguration, Senate Republicans rammed through new maps on a party-lines 20-19 plurality. Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who can break ties in the Senate, would have voted against the plan had the vote been tied. The maps were not considered in committee nor available for public comment — rather, Sen. John Watkins (R) offered them as a surprise floor amendment to House Bill 259 — and the Republican plurality limited floor debate to just minutes before forcing a vote on final passage. As Blue Virginia notes, it is unclear whether this mid-decade redistricting is even constitutional, as the Virginia constitution calls for new maps only once every decade.
Assuming the measure passes the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, it will be up to Gov. McDonnell to decide whether to sign the bill — setting up a likely court fight — or veto. But just two years ago, he demanded a bipartisan plan and a transparent process.