Lawsuit alleges 'racial gerrymandering' in Va.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia is one of several states where Democrats have gone to court to challenge redistricting plans drawn by Republicans seeking to keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A lawsuit in federal court in Richmond accuses the Republican-controlled General Assembly of unconstitutional "racial gerrymandering." It says lawmakers improperly increased the percentage of African-American voters in the black-majority 3rd congressional district, making adjacent districts safer for GOP incumbents. The plaintiffs want a judge to postpone the June primaries while boundaries are redraw. A trial is set for May 20.

The plaintiffs are represented by Marc Elias, an attorney for the National Democratic Redistricting Trust.

Democrats have challenged GOP-drawn redistricting plans in other states, but Republicans also have gone to court in some states where Democrats controlled the process.

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