The Virginia Supreme Court has approved new legislative lines for Virginia. In doing so, the court reshaped the 5th Congressional District and other districts in the eastern part of the state but left largely intact the proposed redistricting plan that puts Republican incumbents Ben Cline and Morgan Griffith in the same 6th District while leaving the 9th District with no incumbent.
The only change from the original maps was to move Craig County into the 9th (where it has been) and keep more Roanoke County precincts in the 6th.
The court appears to have made few changes to the maps for the House of Delegates and state Senate that had been proposed by the two court-appointed special masters, one a Democrat, one a Republican. The most significant is that Vinton was moved out of a proposed state Senate district running to Waynesboro and is now placed in the same district as Roanoke, Salem and parts of Roanoke County and Montgomery County. All the incumbents who had been paired in the previous maps appear to remain paired in these.
The most significant changes to the congressional maps appear to be in the Richmond area and Northern Virginia. Critics had complained that the special masters’ map split the Richmond suburbs too many ways and added too much rural territory to the 10th District in Northern Virginia. The maps the court approved move western Chesterfield County out of the 5th into a reshaped 1st District, which now appears to pit Democrat Abigail Spanberger and Republican Rob Wittman in the same district. The maps the court approved also no longer split Albemarle County between the 5th and the 10th; now it’s almost in the 5th District with the exception of a small sliver in the 7th that the special masters said was needed to balance population.
Below are copies of the 5th, 6th and 9th district approved by the court. Here is the court’s order, which includes links to the new congressional districts, House of Delegates districts and state Senate districts, and the special masters’ final report.