In Fall 2015, Jack W. Peltason Endowed Chair of Democracy and Professor of Political Science UC Irvine Bernie Grofman was selected by a three judge federal court to propose to that court plans to redraw Congressional District 3 in Virginia in a fashion that was consistent with the U.S. Constitution. Virginia CD3 was a district that had been held to be unconstitutional by a previous three-judge court. That court found that racial considerations were the predominant motive for why the district (an ill-compact weirdly shaped one, that stretched across much of the state cutting through city and county boundaries, and one that was arguably discontiguous) had been drawn as it was. That fact was held to be a violation of the standard for "equal protection of the law". Of course, redrawing any one congressional district had implications for the congressional districts it touched, and possibly for other districts as well. In proposing a new plan, many issues, both empirical and legal had to be resolved. Their resolution demonstrated how inextricably intertwined are empirical analyses and statistical models with the legal analysis of voting rights issues.

 

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