DENISE LAVOIE - AP Legal Affairs Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge has dismissed a second lawsuit seeking to force members of Virginia's Republican-controlled House of Delegates to hold an unscheduled election this year.

U.S. District Judge David Novak found in his ruling Monday that federal courts lack the authority to order new elections for all 100 members of the state House of Delegates using newly drawn legislative maps.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Jeff Thomas, an author who has written extensively about Virginia politics and government.

Thomas and two other plaintiffs alleged their voting strength and political representation were unconstitutionally diluted or weakened by the state's failure to complete redistricting before the 2021 elections.