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Federal court appoints expert to aide in redistricting

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RICHMOND (AP) - A federal court has appointed a special expert to assist it in redrawing Virginia's congressional boundaries.

Judge Albert Diaz of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a court filing Wednesday that a judicial panel has selected Dr. Bernard Grofman, an economics and political science professor at the University of California, Irvine.

In June, the panel concluded for a second time that legislators in 2012 illegally packed black voters into one district in order to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents.

The three-judge panel ordered the General Assembly to redraw new maps by Sept. 1, but lawmakers balked and the court is going to redraw the boundaries itself.