Schapiro’s as­sump­tions are of­ten mis­placed

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

EDITOR, TIMES-DIS­PATCH:

Jeff Schapiro is noth­ing if not con­sis­tent. For any de­ci­sion by a public body or of­fi­cial that he does not ap­prove, his first as­sump­tion is that the de­ci­sion must be cor­ruptly mo­ti­vated.

In his col­umn, “Va. high court rolls over again — this time, on re­dis­trict­ing,” he sug­gests that a re­cent de­ci­sion by the Vir­ginia Supreme Court was made in re­turn for an in­crease in the bud­get for the state ju­di­cial sys­tem. This would be shock­ing if true, and grounds for im­peach­ing the en­tire court, but of course there is no ev­i­dence for it and no one is even al­leg­ing it. It is just an­other ca­sual Schapiro smear.

Schapiro is a political writer, and an­other con­stant is his as­sump­tion that ev­ery­thing is political, in­clud­ing the work of the courts (un­for­tu­nately, the cur­rent at­tor­ney gen­eral shares this as­sump­tion).

The Supreme Court de­ci­sion that he crit­i­cizes, in which the seven jus­tices unan­i­mously af­firmed the find­ing of a cir­cuit court judge that a chal­lenge to leg­isla­tive dis­tricts es­tab­lished by the Gen­eral As­sem­bly had not shown that the dis­tricts failed to meet the com­pact­ness stan­dard in the Vir­ginia Con­sti­tu­tion, is com­pletely rea­son­able and main­stream. Read it for your­self on the court’s web­site.

Yet for Schapiro, the court’s re­fusal to usurp the Gen­eral As­sem­bly’s con­sti­tu­tional func­tion of de­ter­min­ing district bound­aries is “rolling over for the Repub­li­can leg­is­la­ture.”

JON JEWETT. ASH­LAND.

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