CASE SUMMARY

On December 10, 2021, the Municipality of Skagway Borough and an Alaska voter filed a state lawsuit against the Alaska Redistricting Board and its members, challenging several of the Board's actions during the redistricting process and certain districts within the Board's adopted legislative plans as violating state constitutional and statutory provisions related to redistricting and transparency. First, the plaintiffs allege that the Board violated the Alaska Open Meetings Act by holding work and executive sessions closed to the public during which time the Board made changes to redistricting plans, discussed the senate pairing process, and made agreements on pairings. Similarly, the plaintiffs assert that by reaching a final agreement on changes to the plan and senate pairings during these closed sessions, the Board violated the Alaska Constitution's requirement for public hearings on proposed plans. As to the districts themselves, plaintiffs allege that by combining Skagway with dissimilar municipalities and separating socio-economically integrated communities, the Board violated the Alaska Constitution's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. Finally, they assert that several of the House districts and related Senate districts violate the Alaska Constitution's redistricting criteria relating to compactness, contiguity, respect for political subdivision and geographic boundaries, and preserving communities of interest. Plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment that the Board's actions violate the Alaska Constitution and Open Meetings Act, a court order declaring the Board's adopted final plans null and void and barring the state from using them in any future elections, and an order requiring the Board to either correct the issues in the present plans or to adopt new, lawful redistricting plans.

On December 14, 2021, the presiding judges of the Alaska Superior Court issued a statewide order consolidating the 5 pending challenges to Alaska's adopted legislative plans and transferring their venue to the Anchorage Superior Court.

Related Cases: Calista Corp. v. Alaska Redistricting Board; City of Valdez v. Alaska Redistricting Board; Matanuska-Susitna Borough v. Alaska Redistricting Board; & Wilson v. Alaska Redistricting Board.

CASE LIBRARY

Alaska Superior Court, Third Judicial District at Anchorage - No. 3AN-21-8869CI [formerly in First Judicial District at Juneau - No. 1JU-21-00944CI]