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Supreme Court rejects Virginia GOP’s last-ditch attempt to block fair legislative elections

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On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, shutting down the Virginia GOP’s last ditch effort to rig the upcoming state legislative election taking place this November.

In 5-4 decision, the justices held that the House of Delegates has no standing to appeal the decision made by the lower court. The vote broke along unusual lines, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg writing for a majority with Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch, and Justice Samuel Alito writing a dissent joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh.

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The case stemmed from a challenge to the GOP-drawn House of Delegates legislative map in Virginia, which residents challenged as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. 12 of the 100 districts contained a voting base that was more than 55 percent African-American, raising concerns that lawmakers deliberately crammed as many black voters into as few districts as possible so they could not have as many representatives as their presence in the population.

A district court previously ruled all 12 of the districts unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court in 2017 approved one of them and told the lower court to use a different standard to review the other 11. The district court once again found the remaining 11 unconstitutional, and ordered a new map to be drawn. Democratic state Attorney General Mark Herring refused to defend the GOP’s gerrymander, leading the legislature to hire its own lawyers — which the Supreme Court today ruled was not allowed.

The decision was not altogether surprising, as the new state legislative map is already in place and primaries have already been held. The Supreme Court typically does not intervene in elections halfway through the process, so it is likely the justices would have issued their opinion sooner if they had wanted to rule in favor of the GOP.

The ruling is a huge victory for Virginia Democrats, who will now be competing with a fair map that will have considerably more competitive districts. Democrats only need to swing two seats in the state Senate and House of Delegates to win control of either chamber. Winning both would give them their only legislature in a Southern state, and leave the Minnesota Senate as the only GOP-controlled legislative chamber in a state President Donald Trump lost.

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The Supreme Court is scheduled to decide three more major voting rights cases this term: Rucho v. Common Cause, which concerns a Republican partisan gerrymander in North Carolina, Lamone v Benisek, which concerns a Democratic partisan gerrymander in Maryland, and Department of Commerce v. New York, which will decide whether the Trump administration can interrogate people about citizenship while conducting the 2020 Census.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Other gun groups start moving in as the NRA flounders to handle infighting and lawsuits

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The National Rifle Association is in complete shambles as major members of the board are being shoved out after questioning chief Wayne LaPierre on his reported spending on his own wardrobe at a Beverly Hills boutique, his wife's hair, and demanding the NRA fund a $6 million mansion for him to live in. Three members were driven out of the board initially, and another major celebrity member quit very publicly last week.

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Trump thinks he can block shipments to Venezuela by posting Navy ships along their coastline

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In a strange turn of national security events, President Donald Trump thinks that he can cripple Venezuela by stationing Navy ships along the coastline of the country. He seems to have forgotten that Venezuela is connected to other countries on its south, west and southeastern border.

According to Axios, five current and former officials have either directly heard Trump say it or have been briefed on his plan.

The plan would be to blockade the country in the south Carribean for at least a year and a half.

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Trump blames Ocasio-Cortez for two Democrats who were nearly barred from Israel

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President Donald Trump tweeted out Sunday that Democrats are ready to wage war against Israel because the prime minister followed his direction to ban Congresswomen from coming to the country.

Israel backed off after an uprising from both conservative and liberal groups, saying the purpose of any international visit should be to help educate, regardless of the support for the country.

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