On November 15, 2021, a coalition of Alabamian voters, a Birmingham religious organization, and the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit against Alabama's Secretary of State and the Co-Chairs of Alabama's Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment challenging the state's enacted legislative redistricting plans as violating the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that several of the state Senate and state House districts are racial gerrymanders in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause because race was the state legislature's predominant consideration in their creation, and such use of race was not sufficiently justified by or narrowly tailored for any compelling governmental interest. They are seeking a judicial declaration that the enacted legislative plans are unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, a preliminary and permanent injunction barring the defendants from using the plans in future elections, a court order establishing a deadline for the state to enact remedial legislative plans that comply with both the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, and for the court to delay the 2022 primary filing date until it adopts a remedial plan in the event the state fails to do so.

On March 21, 2022, the district court panel issued an order staying the case pending the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Milligan v. Merrill and Caster v. Merrill. Proceedings resumed in early 2023.

Plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint and then, finally, a fourth that dropped the original constitutional claims and narrowed the VRA claims to a pair of state senate districts in the Montgomery area. As a result of the revised pleadings the three-judge court was dissolved, and the case was returned to the district court judge originally assigned to the case.

Similar Cases: Singleton v. Merrill; Milligan v. Merrill; Caster v. Merrill


U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division - No. 2:21-cv-1531