On January 20, 2022, a group of Kentucky voters, sitting members of the Kentucky House of Representatives, and the Kentucky Democratic Party filed a lawsuit against Kentucky’s Secretary of State and State Board of Elections challenging the state’s enacted congressional and state House redistricting plans as partisan gerrymanders in violation of the Kentucky Constitution. They alleged the plans’ partisan bias against Democratic voters violated the Kentucky Constitution’s Free and Equal Elections, Equal Protection, and Free Speech and Assembly Clauses, and that the state House plan violated the Constitution’s redistricting criteria by excessively splitting counties for partisan advantage. They sought a declaratory judgment that the plans were unconstitutional, a temporary and permanent injunction barring the plans from use in future elections, and an order requiring the state to enact new, lawful plans.

  • The circuit court held a three-day bench trial starting April 5, 2022.
  • On November 10, 2022, the circuit court upheld the plans after finding that while the plans were partisan gerrymanders, the Kentucky Constitution did not prohibit partisan considerations when redistricting. The plaintiffs appealed and the defendants filed a cross-appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in late November.
  • On March 29, 2023, the Kentucky Supreme Court granted plaintiffs’ request to assume jurisdiction over the case and held oral arguments on September 19, 2023.
  • On December 14, 2023, the Kentucky Supreme Court held that partisan gerrymandering claims are justiciable under the Kentucky Constitution but nevertheless upheld the plans as constitutional. The Court explained that the Kentucky Constitution does not forbid partisan considerations when redistricting and, while partisanship can rise to an unconstitutional level, these plans were not unconstitutionally partisan.


Commonwealth of Kentucky, Franklin Circuit Court - No. 22-CI-00047

Supreme Court of Kentucky - Nos. 2022-SC-0522, 2023-SC0139