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Letters to the editor for Nov. 9, 2021
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Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor for Nov. 9, 2021

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Spot the differences

Virginia’s redistricting process has moved to the state’s Supreme Court. Democratic and Republican legislators have submitted three nominees each to the court. Justices will choose one from each party’s list, and direct those two to work together to produce new maps.

Democratic nominees:

Bernard Grofman, University of California, Irvine

Nathaniel Persily, Stanford University

Bruce Cain, Stanford University

In 2015, Grofman was appointed as a special master to redraw Virginia’s congressional districts after U.S. federal judges ruled that the previous districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to pack one district with African Americans and dilute their influence through the rest of the state. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene, allowing Grofman’s maps to be used.

Persily has served as a court-appointed expert on legislative districting for several states, and in 2012, was appointed by the Supreme Court of Connecticut as a special master for redistricting of Connecticut’s congressional districts.

Cain has worked as a redistricting consultant to several government agencies. He served as the Special Master to the three-judge panel overseeing the Arizona state legislative redistricting in 2002.

Republican nominees:

Thomas Bryan, BryanGeoDemographics

Adam Kincaid, National Republican Redistricting Trust

Adam Foltz, State of Texas Legislative Council

Bryan is the owner of “a boutique expert witness and consulting firm specializing in redistricting and VRA related litigation” headquartered in Midlothian.

Kincaid is Executive Director of the National Republican Redistricting Trust who lives in Northern Virginia.

Foltz is a political consultant working for Texas Republicans, and was part of the team that helped craft Wisconsin’s legislative maps after Republicans took control of that state legislature in 2010. A 2012 court ruling stated: “Without a doubt, the Legislature made a conscious choice to involve private lawyers in what gives every appearance of an attempt — albeit poorly disguised — to cloak the private machinations of Wisconsin’s Republican legislators in the shroud of attorney-client privilege. What could have — indeed should have — been accomplished publicly instead took place in private, in an all but shameful attempt to hide the redistricting process from public scrutiny.”

See any differences? I sure do.

NEAL SUMERLIN

Lynchburg

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