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Justice OKs GOP Redistricting Map in Virginia Justice OKs GOP Redistricting Map in Virginia

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redistricting

Justice OKs GOP Redistricting Map in Virginia

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** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **A dogwood, the state flower of Virginia, blossoms on the lawn of the Capitol building, not far from The Jefferson Hotel, in Richmond, Va., April 24, 2003 (AP Photo/Wayne Scarberry)  (AP Photo/Wayne Scarberry)

In Virginia, Democrats in the state Senate had proposed breaking up the majority-black Tidewater 3rd District into two separate districts. But when Republicans took control of the state Senate in last November's elections, they passed a plan packing even more black voters into the 3rd, shoring up four neighboring GOP-held seats. In late February, a circuit court in Richmond threw out a Democratically backed lawsuit challenging the map on the grounds that Republicans had missed the state's 2011 redistricting deadline. The Justice Department has demonstrated a laissez-faire approach to GOP-friendly redistricting in much of the Deep South. While advocates had pointed out that additional African-American majority seats could have been drawn in Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Virginia, GOP-dominated legislatures in those states chose not to add any, maximizing Republican-heavy seats instead. In each state, Justice signed off on the Republican plans. The one state in which the department has objected to a state's new congressional boundaries is Texas, where it objected to the GOP legislature's failure to add more Latino majority seats. Texas is among just three states with plans still awaiting preclearance.

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