The Bulletin

Judge: Goldman effort to link abortion to Va. election case is ‘patently inappropriate’

By: - May 5, 2022 4:24 pm

A federal judge shot down Virginia attorney Paul Goldman's effort to introduce a draft abortion ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court into his ongoing lawsuit over Virginia's election calendar, calling Goldman's motion "patently inappropriate and completely irrelevant."

A federal judge strongly rejected Virginia attorney Paul Goldman’s effort to introduce a draft abortion ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court into his ongoing lawsuit over Virginia’s election calendar, calling Goldman’s motion “patently inappropriate and completely irrelevant.”

This week, Goldman sought to introduce the leaked U.S. Supreme Court opinion potentially overturning Roe v. Wade to make a point about the importance of having a correctly proportioned state legislature. Goldman is trying to have the court order new House of Delegates elections this year to remedy Virginia’s delayed redistricting process, which allowed current House members to win two-year terms in districts that hadn’t been updated to reflect a decade of population changes.

But the judge appears to be losing patience with Goldman’s habit of filing motions the court didn’t ask for.

“Put simply, Plaintiff should know better,” Judge David S. Novak of the Eastern District of Virginia wrote in an order issued Thursday. “Although he is proceeding pro se, Plaintiff himself has decades of experience as a lawyer. Going forward, the court expects that he will refrain from abusing the judicial process and that he will conduct himself in a professional manner.”

In his motion, Goldman asked the court to admit the leaked abortion opinion as a “supplemental authority” because “the role played by state legislatures such as the General Assembly of Virginia in securing our rights may be headed for significant expansion in the most complicated areas.”

Novak wasn’t buying it.

“Neither draft opinions nor press reports have any impact on the decisions of this court,” Novak wrote.

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Graham Moomaw
Graham Moomaw

A veteran Virginia politics reporter, Graham grew up in Hillsville and Lynchburg, graduating from James Madison University and earning a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Before joining the Mercury in 2019, he spent six years at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, most of that time covering the governor's office, the General Assembly and state politics. He also covered city hall and politics at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville.