Virginia Supreme Court Appoints Special Masters for Redistricting

The Virginia Supreme Court has selected Republican nominee Sean Trende and Democratic nominee Bernard Grofman to be the two Special Masters who will work together to draw legislative and congressional map proposals for the court. Due to deep partisan splits, the Virginia Redistricting Commission failed to submit any maps by constitutionally-required deadlines, leaving the task to the Court.

In the order issued Friday, the Court wrote, “Though each was nominated by legislative leaders of a particular political party, the nominees — upon being appointed by this Court as Special Masters — shall serve as officers of the Court in a quasi-judicial capacity. Consequently, the Special Masters shall be neutral and shall not act as advocates or representatives of any political party. By accepting their appointment, the Special Masters warrant that they have no ‘conflicts of interest,’ Code § 30-399(F), that preclude them from prudently exercising independent judgment, dispassionately following the Court’s instructions, or objectively applying the governing decision-making criteria.”

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Tennessee State Lawmakers Gave Up a Section of the State Constitution When They Quickly Ratified The U.S. Constitution’s 26th Amendment

Back in 1971, the Tennessee General Assembly quickly ratified the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which lowered the voting age in all elections–federal, state and local– to 18 in every state. By doing so, they voluntarily give up a section of the Tennessee State Constitution. Here’s…

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