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The Supreme Court Decision May Help Virginia Push Forwardly Blue
Jun 20 – Jul 03, 2019
virginia blue

Virginia already has a Democratic governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, only two state House and two state Senate seats are keeping the home of the former Confederate capital from becoming a Democratic or blue state.

The United State Supreme Court bolstered that effort Monday by dismissing a Republican (red) appeal of a lower court ruling. A lower court had ordered Virginia to redraw the House district lines in the greater Richmond region and Hampton Roads region, which have large Black populations.

The lower court order came after Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and House Republicans would not agree on a legislative fix and the court hired its own expert to redraw the lines. Virginia must now use those district demarcation lines in the November 2019 elections.

In the 5-4 Supreme Court decision, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch voted in the majority. In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, "It seems obvious that any group consisting of members who must work together to achieve the group’s aims has a keen interest in the identity of its members, and it follows that the group also has a strong interest in how its members are selected."

"In stark contrast, the House does not select its own members," Ginsburg retorted. "Instead, it is a representative body composed of members chosen by the people."

The group Swing Left added, “We're supporting 20 great candidates running to flip the House of Delegates and the State Senate because this could be our best and last chance to turn Virginia blue and set up a decade of progressive victories that will impact the entire country.”

However, Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox said he was disappointed in the court outcome, but that he and fellow Republicans were prepared to meet voters in November, “We have recruited a diverse slate of candidates that reflect the communities they seek to serve, including eight women and two African Americans,” he said.
Currently, there are zero Black Republicans in the Virginia legislature.
The two Blacks are DJ Jordon running in District 31 in Northern Virginia and Garrison Coward in District 68 in the Chesterfield/Richmond region. Ironically, both men are trying to unseat incumbent women, Elizabeth Guzmán and Dawn Marie Adams, who became part of a record high of 25 women elected to the House of Delegates in 2018.

Currently, there are zero Black Republicans in the Virginia legislature. In stark contrast, even Democratic snapshots offer the epitome of inclusion.

Guzmán is Peruvian-American and a social worker; Adams is Virginia's first openly lesbian member and a nurse practitioner. And, lieutenant governor Justin Faifaix is the great-great-great grandson of an enslaved American in which the Confederates fought and killed their own kin to keep enslaved.

“As I raised my right hand to take the oath of office as lieutenant governor of Virginia, I had in my breast pocket the papers that freed my three-greats-ago grandfather,” Fairfax told NBC affiliate WWBT. "I think it represents the progress we as Virginian's have been able to make.”

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