So Virginia’s Senate Republicans just pushed through a new redistricting plan today while a Democratic Senator (active in the civil rights movement) was still out of the capital due to the inauguration.
This left the otherwise balanced chamber with 20R-19D, key because the Republican Lieutenant Governor who would otherwise decide tiebreakers is mulling a run as an independent for Governor this year, and is thus unreliable.
The bill, which is not yet available online due to the abruptness of it all, is purported to gerrymander out at least one Democratic Senator. Ironically, the Senator in question (Creigh Deeds) has been one of the most vocal proponents of a bipartisan/nonpartisan redistricting method over the past decade.
This would come into effect for the 2015 elections, the approximate midway point between traditional redistricting intervals, and when many weakly gerrymandered districts start to lose their potency against natural demographic changes.
Gotta love the Commonwealth.
Edit: While I have mixed feelings on Ben Tribbett, he’s likely going to be one of the first places to get news on what the new map looks like.