West Virginia

Overview

West Virginia Redistricting Process

Congressional and Legislative

Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the State Legislature. The Governor can veto the plans.

The Legislature can override a veto with a majority vote of all those elected. Republicans currently have veto-proof majorities in both chambers.

Source: W. Va. Const. art. VI, § 6-10.


Previous Redistricting Cycles

2010

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanSB 1008
      • Passed = August 5, 2011 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = August 18, 2011
    • Litigation History
      • Tennant v. Jefferson County Comm’n, 133 S.Ct. 3 (2012): Plaintiffs challenged West Virginia’s 2011 congressional plan as violating Article I, Section 2’s one person, one vote constitutional principle. The district court initially struck down the plan on the grounds the State’s offered justifications for the population deviations were insufficient, but on September 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed, finding that the State’s legitimate objectives were sufficient to justify the plan’s deviations.
  • Legislative
    • Original PlanSB 1006
      • Passed = August 5 2011 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = August 18, 2011
    • Amended House PlanHB 201
      • Passed = August 21, 2011 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = September 2, 2011
    • Litigation History
      • State ex rel. Cooper v. Tennant, 730 S.E.2d 368 (W.Va. 2012): Several groups of plaintiffs filed challenges to the Legislature’s enacted state Senate plan and amended House plan as violating the state constitution’s redistricting requirements relating to preserving precinct boundaries, minimizing county splits, and equal population, in addition to alleged violations of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and partisan gerrymandering. On November 23, 2011, the West Virginia Supreme Court entered an order upholding both plans as valid under the state constitution, and on February 13, 2012, issued an opinion explaining its reasoning.

2000

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanHB 510
      • Passed = September 19, 2001 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = October 4, 2001
    • Litigation History
      • None
  • Legislative
    • Original PlanHB 511
      • Passed = September 19, 2001 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = October 4, 2001
    • Litigation History
      • Deem v. Manchin, 188 F.Supp.2d 651 (N.D. W.Va. 2002): Two different federal lawsuits were filed challenging the Legislature’s enacted state Senate redistricting plan as having impermissible population variances in violation of the one person, one vote constitutional principle, joined by intervenors who alleged that the state House plan contained violations of the state constitution’s “three-fifths rule.” On March 1, 2002, the district court upheld the Senate plan as constitutional and dismissed the intervenors’ claims against the House plan for lack of jurisdiction.
        • Aff’d, Unger v. Manchin, 536 U.S. 935 (2002).

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Only the West Virginia Legislature may refer amendments to the ballot. There is no initiative or referendum process.

Source: W. Va. Const. art. XIV.


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