Statement of House Speaker William J. Howell

chriswest2017 General Assembly

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) issued the following statement following the opinion issued in Vesilind v. Virginia State Board.

“The districts at issue in this case are as, or more, compact than districts deemed compact by the Virginia Supreme Court dating back to the 1991 plan. Virginia has a fair and open redistricting process that involves multiple hearings and extensive input from the public. The process to draw this plan was rigorous, more inclusive of the public than any Virginia plan in recent memory, and garnered overwhelming bi-partisan support in both chambers.

“The facts of this case speak for themselves. The districts were compact, consistent with Virginia Supreme Court precedent, and the process to draw compact districts in 2011 was sound.  We are grateful that Judge Marchant declined to apply a new legal standard and we are prepared to defend this plan again should his opinion be appealed by Plaintiffs. It is my hope that the Plaintiffs will accept this ruling and not continue to waste taxpayer dollars by forcing the Commonwealth to defend unnecessary appeals.”