CASE SUMMARY

On December 9, 2021, a group of Alaskan voters filed a state lawsuit against the Alaska Redistricting Board, challenging the Board's adopted legislative redistricting plan and several of the Board's actions during the process as violating several state constitutional and statutory provisions relating to redistricting and transparency. First, the plaintiffs assert that the Board violated the Alaska Open Meetings Act by holding work and executive sessions closed to the public during which time the Board's legal counsel gave presentations on redistricting laws and the senate pairing process and the commissioners made agreements on pairings. Similarly, the plaintiffs assert that by reaching a final agreement on 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 certain senate pairings were "egregiously irrational and arbitrary" in violation of the U.S. and Alaska Constitution's Due Process Clause and the Alaska Constitution's equal protection clause. Finally, they assert that the Eagle River districts and East Anchorage communities with which they were paired violate the Alaska Constitution's contiguity requirement. Plaintiffs are seeking a judicial declaration that the Board's actions violated state constitutional and statutory provisions and a court order declaring the Eagle River Senate Districts and Anchorage pairings unconstitutionally void. They are also requesting the court direct the Board to adopt the plaintiffs' proposed Bahnke East Anchorage/Eagle River Pairings or, alternatively, lawful pairings that place both Eagle River House districts in a single senate district and pair East Anchorage house districts with contiguous communities of interest.

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: Municipality of Skagway Borough v. Alaska Redistricting Board; City of Valdez v. Alaska Redistricting Board; Matanuska-Susitna Borough v. Alaska Redistricting Board; & Calista Corp. v. Alaska Redistricting Board.

CASE LIBRARY

Alaska Superior Court, Third Judicial District at Anchorage - No. 3AN-21-08869CI