On December 10, 2021 two Alaskan voters and an Alaska Native Regional Corporation filed a lawsuit against the Alaska Redistricting Board challenging the Board's adopted legislative plan as violating the U.S. and Alaska Constitutions and the federal Voting Rights Act. First, plaintiffs alleged the plan violated article VI, § 6 of the Alaska Constitution because the Board failed to give due regard to local government boundaries and failed to respect integrated socio-economic areas when creating the boundaries of Alaska House Districts 38 and 37 and Alaska Senate District S. Next, they alleged the plan violated the U.S. and Alaska Constitution's Equal Protection Clauses by creating state House and Senate districts which diluted the voting strength of Calista's Alaska Native population by placing them in districts with different social, political, and economic concerns. Finally, plaintiffs asserted the adopted plan also violated § 2 of the Voting Rights Act because the districts resulted in the denial or abridgement of the plaintiffs' and other Calista Region citizens' right to vote on the basis of their race, color, or membership in a language minority group. They sought a judicial declaration that the adopted plan violated the federal and state constitutions and federal law and for the court to remand the plan back to the Board for correction of the violations.
On December 14, 2021 the presiding judges of the Alaska Superior Court issued a statewide order consolidating the 5 pending challenges to Alaska's adopted legislative plans and transferring their venue to the Anchorage Superior Court.
On February 15, 2022 the Alaska Superior Court issued its ruling rejecting the plaintiffs' claims. The court first held the challenged districts all complied with the Alaska Constitution's respect for communities of interest and geographic and political boundaries requirements. Second, the court found that the plaintiffs had failed to establish an equal protection violation because they had not produced evidence that the Board subjected them to intentional discrimination.
For a complete list of filings in this case, see the litigation page for Matanuska-Susitna Borough v. Alaska Redistricting Board.
Related Cases: Municipality of Skagway Borough v. Alaska Redistricting Board; City of Valdez v. Alaska Redistricting Board; Matanuska-Susitna Borough v. Alaska Redistricting Board; & Wilson v. Alaska Redistricting Board.
Alaska Superior Court, Third Judicial District at Anchorage - No. 3AN-21-8869CI [formerly in Fourth Judicial District at Bethel - No. 4BE-21-00372CI]
- Complaint and Expedited Application to Compel Correction of Errors in Redistricting - 12/10/21
- Amended Presiding Judges' Statewide Consolidation and Venue Order - 12/14/21
- Pretrial Order - 12/15/21
- Second Pretrial Order - 12/21/21
- Order Regarding Discovery Hearing Submissions - 12/21/21
- Order of the Alaska Supreme Court - 12/23/21
- Fourth Pretrial Order - 1/4/22
- Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law - 2/15/22