Case Summary

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana on behalf of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP and two African-American voters. The lawsuit alleges the map used to elect Louisiana’s seven state Supreme Court justices is discriminatory against African-American voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief and request that the district boundaries be redrawn. The Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss in light of an ongoing consent decree from the Eastern District of Louisiana related to the state’s supreme court districts, arguing that the Middle District Court lacked jurisdiction over the Supreme Court districts because the consent decree left jurisdiction solely with the Eastern District Court. This Motion was denied on June 26, 2020.

On October 19, 2020, the court granted Defendants' Motion for Certification of Order for Interlocutory Appeal of the District Court's June 26 order, but denied the Defendant's request to stay the case while the interlocutory appeal was pending. On November 19, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted the Defendants' Motion for Leave to Appeal from the District Court's Interlocutory Order.

Oral argument was held before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 10, 2021. On September 20, 2021, the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion affirming the district court's ruling that the Eastern District's consent decree did not mean that jurisdiction over the Supreme Court districts lied exclusively with the Eastern District Court, thereby allowing the plaintiffs challenge to proceed in the Middle District Court.

Case Library

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana - No. 3:19-cv-00479

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit - No. 20-90042

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit - No. 20-30734 (Allen v. State of LA)