Ahead of Redraw, Virginia Republicans Jockey for Safe Seats

Brat is one of three Republicans whose district is most likely to change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia Democrats say their congressional map can’t get any worse.  

In a state President Barack Obama carried twice, their party holds just three seats in the 11-member delegation. With a new round of redistricting coming up next month, the question now is which districts get rougher for Republicans. A federal district court has given Virginia until Sept. 1 to redraw the lines of Democratic Rep. Robert C. Scott’s 3rd District, which it has twice ruled is unconstitutionally packed with blacks . The district runs along the James River between Richmond and Hampton Roads and is currently 57 percent black, according to 2013 census data.  

4 End-Game Scenarios for the Florida Map Chaos

Corrine Brown is not happy with Democrats who would like a new Florida map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s back to the drawing board for Florida lawmakers, who must return to Tallahassee this week for a rushed redraw of the state’s congressional map.  

On Friday, Circuit Judge Terry Lewis issued an order setting an Aug. 15 deadline for the legislature to redraw the map and for state officials to develop a revised election schedule. A trial on the proposed map and schedule will take place on Aug. 20, with a ruling expected the following day.  

4 Effects of Voting Rights Ruling on 2014 Midterms

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling to gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act will change the country's politics. And in some cases, the change could come as soon as 2014.

On the surface, the ruling now allows certain states to make changes to their voting laws without federal approval. But the political implications will reach beyond those states, especially as Democrats try to use the decision to energize minority voters for the midterm elections.

Obama to Create Bipartisan Commission on Voting Problems

President Barack Obama announced his intention to create a nonpartisan commission to “improve the voting experience in America” during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

"I’m asking two longtime experts in the field, who, by the way, recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Gov. [Mitt] Romney’s campaign, to lead it,” Obama told lawmakers gathered in the House chamber.

Virginia: Warner, Kaine Disappointed With Controversial State Senate Bills

Kaine said the Virginia state Senate will continue to be the butt of late night TV jokes. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine — both former governors of the commonwealth — are disappointed with a couple of bills moving forward in the state Senate, including a proposal that would allocate the state's presidential electoral votes by congressional district.

That bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Bill Carrico, would give presidential nominees an electoral vote for each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts they carry, plus two at-large votes to the nominee that wins a majority of the districts. If the bill had been law last year, President Barack Obama would have won just four of the state's 13 electoral votes, despite winning the state by some 150,000 votes.

John Lewis Attacks Republicans on Voting Rights

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) delivered a blistering critique of new GOP-backed voter identification laws, weaving in his personal civil rights story to emphasize to a packed convention crowd, "we have come too far together to ever turn back."

On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Lewis called it "unbelievable that there are Republican officials still trying to stop some people from voting."

Between the Lines: Virginia Court Dismisses Challenge to Map

Virginia is one step away from completing redistricting after the Richmond Circuit Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Legislature-drawn Congressional map.

The lawsuit argued that the state Legislature, which Republicans won complete control of in November’s state elections, was constitutionally mandated to complete redistricting in 2011. A similar lawsuit filed in federal court was dismissed Feb. 10.