Democrats want a judge to decide whether Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling can cast a tie-breaking vote to give Republicans effective control of the evenly divided state Senate.
Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico County, the chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, filed the lawsuit today in Richmond Circuit Court on behalf of the caucus. Democrats want a judge to rule that Bolling does not have the constitutional authority to vote on the Senate’s organization. And they want judge to issue an injunction that would prevent Bolling from voting on organizational matters until the issue is resolved.
Republicans argue that, because of Bolling’s tie-breaking vote, they can function as the Senate’s majority party and hold majorities on Senate committees. Bolling said the day after the Nov. 8 elections that the 20-20 split in the state Senate gave Republicans control of the the Senate.
“The voters elected 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans to the Senate. Yet, in spite of that, the Republicans choose to ignore these results and, instead, claim absolute power and authority,” McEachin said in a news release. “This willingness to ignore the evenly divided results of the election is unfair and unacceptable.”
– Michael Sluss