Trial over Virginia's 2011 legislative boundaries begins


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Attorneys for Virginia election officials and lawmakers are back in court defending the state's legislative boundaries.

A bench trial challenging 11 Virginia House and Senate districts opened Monday in the Richmond Circuit Court.

The lawsuit was brought by OneVirginia2021, a redistricting advocacy group. The group says lawmakers during the 2011 redistricting process violated the requirement that election districts must be compact.

E. Mark Braden is an attorney for Virginia's House of Delegates. He told Judge W. Reilly Marchant Monday that the boundaries approved in 2011 are just as compact or more compact that those previously approved by the courts.

But attorneys for OneVirginia2021 want lawmakers to use a new measure of compactness.

The trial could last through Thursday. A separate lawsuit challenging the 2011 lines is in federal court.

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