On October 18, 2021 a Texas resident then-incarcerated in a Texas prison filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Texas, Texas's Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State, and the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives challenging the state's treatment of incarcerated populations for the purposes of congressional redistricting and the state's newly enacted congressional plan as violating the U.S. Constitution. On April 1, 2020 (the day of the 2020 Census enumeration) plaintiff was incarcerated in a Texas correctional facility located in Congressional District 13, but plaintiff asserted he intended to and still intended to, upon his release, return and permanently reside at his last known address in Grand Prairie, Texas, which was located in Congressional District 30. Plaintiff asserted Texas's decision to treat incarcerated individuals like himself as residents of their correctional facility rather than their last known addresses, despite the availability of a U.S. Census Bureau tool designed to reallocate those populations for redistricting purposes, violated the plaintiff's right to "equal representation" under Article I, § 2 of the U.S. Constitution and his 14th Amendment right to Equal Protection under the law. Additionally, the plaintiff asserted by enacting a plan that treated incarcerated persons as residents of their correctional facility rather than their last known residences, the state's congressional plan violated the one person, one vote constitutional principle and requirement that states make a "good-faith effort" to provide "as nearly as practical" equal representation to all persons enumerated in the Census. The plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that Texas's enacted congressional plan was unconstitutional, an injunction barring the plan from being implemented or used in any future elections, and any other relief to which the plaintiff and others similarly situated were shown to be entitled to.
On November 19, 2021 the district court consolidated this case with several other pending challenges to Texas redistricting plans: League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Abbott; Voto Latino v. Scott; Mexican Am. Legislative Caucus v. Texas; Brooks v. Abbott; Fair Maps Texas Action Comm. v. Abbott; & Texas State Conf. of the NAACP v. Abbott.
On December 3, 2021 the court issued an order dismissing the Wilson plaintiff's complaint due to a lack of standing. The court explained because the plaintiff was an incarcerated individual who could not currently vote, he had not suffered an injury-in fact necessary to establish standing to sue. The plaintiff amended his complaint, but failed to seek leave from the court to do so, causing the amended complaint to be stricken. On February 8, 2022 the court rejected the plaintiff's motion to amend and dismissed his action in full, again citing a lack of standing without an injury in fact.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division - No. 1:21-cv-943 [consolidated with 3:21-cv-259, 1:21-cv-965, 1:21-cv-988, 1:21-cv-991, 1:21-cv-1006, & 1:21-cv-1038]
- Complaint - 10/18/21
- Plaintiffs' Opposed Motion for Certification of Class Action - 11/8/21
- Order Constituting Three-Judge Court - 11/8/21
- Unopposed Motion to Set Responsive Pleading Deadline for All Named Defendants - 11/15/21
- Defendants' Unopposed Motion to Extend Deadline to Respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification - 11/18/21
- Order Consolidating Cases - 11/19/21
- Order Dismissing Wilson Complaint - 12/3/21
- Plaintiff Wilson's Objection and Request for Reconsideration of Dismissal Based on Lack of Standing - 12/5/21
- Order Denying Leave to Amend and Dismissing Action - 2/8/22
- Final Judgment - 2/8/22