On January 10, 2017, the U.S. Attorney General filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Eastpointe, Michigan, Eastpointe's Mayor and City Clerk, and the Eastpointe City Council and its members, challenging the City's at-large, multiple-vote method of electing its City Council members as violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the at-large method of electing City Council members had the effect of diluting the voting strength of Eastpointe's black residents. The U.S. requested a judicial declaration that the at-large election scheme violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, an injunction barring the defendants from conducting any future elections under the at-large method, and a court order requiring the defendants to create and implement a new election system for the City Council that complied with the VRA.

On June 5, 2019, the parties jointly moved for the court to enter an agreed upon consent judgment and decree, which the court granted and entered on June 26, 2019. The consent decree declared that the at-large, multiple-vote method of election violated Section 2 of the VRA, and provided that the City would implement a ranked choice voting system for future elections, beginning on November 5, 2019. On October 18, 2019, and August 26, 2020, the court entered supplemental orders exempting the City from application of various statutes in the Michigan Election Code which conflicted with their court-approved ranked choice voting scheme.


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division - No. 4:17-cv-10079