CASE SUMMARY

In both the 2000 and 2010 redistricting cycles, Mississippi's legislature and governor failed to enact new congressional plans and therefore a federal district court adopted and implemented new congressional plans for each decade. The court's 2011 injunction specified that the newly adopted plan complied with all federal statutory and constitutional requirements and would remain in place "until such time as the State of Mississippi produces a constitutional congressional redistricting plan that is precleared in accordance with the procedures in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965." Mississippi successfully enacted a new congressional redistricting plan in January of 2022, and shortly thereafter various parties to the prior decade's lawsuits filed motions with the federal district court regarding the validity of the statutorily enacted congressional plan and how it comported with the court's previous injunctions. Specifically, they requested the Court establish a schedule and procedure for determining whether to vacate its current injunction and whether the newly enacted congressional plan satisfies all state and federal statutory and constitutional requirements. Additionally, they requested the Court be briefed as to whether the districts mandated by the 2011 final judgment are now unconstitutionally malapportioned, thereby rendering that judgment ineffective.

On May 23, 2022, the district court issued an opinion and order vacating the 2011 final judgment but declining to rule on the constitutionality of the new congressional redistricting plan on the grounds it was not necessary to their ruling as to the prior judgment. The court stated the 2011 final judgment was no longer equitable to retain in place because the districts ordered thereby had become unconstitutionally malapportioned and the law upon which the injunction was based, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, was no longer applicable.

CASE LIBRARY

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division - No. 3:01-cv-855 [together with No. 3:11-cv-717]