Richmond judge upholds 11 Virginia House, Senate districts

RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) - A judge has upheld 11 Virginia House and Senate districts that challengers argued violated the state's constitution.

Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant ruled against redistricting advocacy ground OneVirginia2021 on Friday.

The group had argued that lawmakers during the 2011 redistricting process violated the requirement that election districts must be compact. It claimed the lines were drawn to protect incumbents and help political parties.

Marchant said the constitutional validity of the map is "fairly debatable." In that case, he said lawmakers' action must be upheld.

Republican House Speaker William Howell praised the decision in a statement, and said lawmakers are prepared to defend the map again if the case is appealed.

A separate lawsuit challenging the 2011 lines is in federal court.

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