CASE SUMMARY

On September 27, 2021, a group of Alabama voters filed a federal lawsuit against the Alabama Secretary of State challenging the constitutionality of the state's congressional redistricting plan, originally enacted in 2011. The plaintiffs allege that due to population shifts throughout the last decade, the 2011 congressional plan has now become malapportioned in violation of the one person, one vote constitutional principle under Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, the plaintiffs assert that the 2011 congressional plan is a racial gerrymander in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause because the plan "packs" African-American voters into a single majority-minority district (District 7), thereby minimizing their influence in five neighboring majority-white districts. The plaintiffs also sought to have the court restore Alabama's historical redistricting principle of drawing Congressional districts with whole counties and submitted their own proposed whole-county Congressional plan to support their claims. On November 4, 2021, Alabama's Governor signed a new congressional redistricting plan into law, and the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint removing their malapportionment claim, reasserting their racial gerrymandering claim, and adding a claim that the enacted plan is intentionally racially discriminatory in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments. The plaintiffs are seeking a judicial declaration that the enacted congressional plan is unconstitutional, an injunction barring the plan from being implemented in future elections, and for the court to implement a lawful, court-ordered congressional plan for the 2022 elections that reflects Alabama's "strong historical preference" for keeping counties whole and accounts for the "significant degree of crossover voting" in the whole-county plan proposed by the plaintiffs.

Similar Cases: Caster v. Merrill; Milligan v. Merrill

CASE LIBRARY

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division - No. 2:21-cv-1291