CASE SUMMARY

On May 3, 2022, the a coalition of civil rights groups and Florida voters led by the Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Jacksonville, Florida, and the Duval County Supervisor of Elections challenging the Jacksonville City Council's enacted City Council and Duval County School Board redistricting plans as unconstitutional. The plaintiffs assert seven City Council districts and three School Board districts are racial gerrymanders in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and the same City Council districts also violate the Jacksonville City Charter's "logical and compact" redistricting criteria. They are seeking a judicial declaration that the challenged districts are unconstitutional and/or unlawful, a preliminary and permanent injunction barring the City and County from using those districts in future elections, and an order requiring the defendants to hold special elections for those districts in the event they are unable to secure adequate relief prior to the next general election.

On October 12, 2022, the district court granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction after finding they were likely to prevail on their racial gerrymandering claims. The court enjoined the defendants from using the challenged districts in future elections and gave the City until November 8, 2022 to enact and file an interim remedial plan for use in City Council and School Board elections. The defendants appealed this ruling to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on October 18, 2022, and requested a stay pending appeal from the district court which was denied on November 1, 2022. The defendants also made an emergency request for a stay from the 11th Circuit but the court denied the motion on November 7. The City filed its interim remedial plans on November 8, 2022.

CASE LIBRARY

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division - No. 3:22-cv-493

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit - No. 22-13544