On February 16, 2022 two North Dakota voters filed a federal lawsuit against North Dakota's Governor and Secretary of State challenging the state's enacted legislative redistricting plan as violating the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs' claim focuses on the plan's two subdistricts within Districts 4 and 9, which encompass the Fort Berthold and Turtle Mountain Native American Reservations and create four single-member districts rather than multi-member districts that elect two representatives at large like all other districts in the plan. They assert the legislature's subdistricting of Districts 4 and 9 constitutes racial gerrymandering in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause because the districts were drawn with race as the predominant consideration but the state failed to conduct racially polarized voting analyses or other inquiries into whether such use of race was necessary for compliance with the Voting Rights Act. They are seeking a judicial declaration that Subdistricts 4A, 4B, 9A, and 9B are unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, a permanent injunction barring the defendants from using the subdistricts in future elections, and for the court to grant such relief that it deems necessary or appropriate.

The district court denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction on May 26, 2022, to which the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on June 14. The plaintiffs dismissed their notice of appeal on July 25.

Similar Case: Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians v. Brown


U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota - No. 1:22-cv-31