Redistricting Litigation

 

Alabama

Chestnut v. Merrill

The NRF is supporting a lawsuit in Alabama alleging that the state legislature violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by failing to draw an additional minority-minority district in the 2011 congressional district map. The lawsuit alleges that the 2011 map packs African-American voters into an already performing majority African-American district (Congressional District 7) and cracks African-American voters among several majority-white districts, with the effect of diluting African-American voting power in violation of Section 2.

Amended Complaint (July 23, 2018)


Georgia

Thompson v. Kemp

The NRF is supporting plaintiffs in a challenge to Georgia’s state House map, alleging that the map violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) because it failed to include one additional majority-minority district in the Atlanta metropolitan region.

Second Amended Complaint (September 13, 2018)


Louisiana

Johnson v. Ardoin

The NRF is supporting a lawsuit filed by African-American voters against the Louisiana Secretary of State, challenging the state’s congressional district map. The lawsuit alleges that the state legislature was required to draw an additional majority-minority congressional district in the 2011 map under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Notwithstanding that African-American voters are sufficient both in population and compactness to form two majority minority districts, the Louisiana state legislature created only one such district (District 2) and cracked the rest of the Black population into two non majority-minority districts (Districts 5 and 6).

Amended Complaint (August 21, 2018)


North Carolina

Common Cause v. Lewis

The NRF is supporting a group of individual voters and Common Cause in a partisan gerrymandering lawsuit against the state of North Carolina and other relevant state actors. The North Carolina Democratic Party is also a plaintiff in the suit. The suit alleges that North Carolina’s 2017 redistricting plan for both chambers of the General Assembly are partisan gerrymanders in violation of the North Carolina Constitution. The lawsuit seeks to establish new state House and state Senate maps that do not burden or penalize any party or voter based on their political beliefs.

To read more about this case click here.

Harris v. Cooper (closed)

The NRF helped support litigation leading to a Supreme Court victory in 2017, in which the Court held that two districts in North Carolina’s 2011 congressional plan were racial gerrymanders and required the state to produce a new map.

While the appeal to the Supreme Court was pending in 2016, the state legislature drew a remedial map by replacing the unconstitutional racial gerrymander with an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The NRF-supported plaintiffs objected, but the trial court rejected the objections, noting that the lack of trial record on the question of partisan gerrymandering prevented it from striking down the legislature’s plan. In June 2018, the Supreme Court summarily affirmed the district court’s determination in this regard.

The 2016 remedial map from Harris v. Cooper is now the subject of separate litigation in the consolidated cases Rucho v. Common Cause and Rucho v. League of Women Voters.

Supreme Court Opinion (May 22, 2017)
Plaintiff’s Objections to Remedial Map (March 3, 2016)
District Court Opinion re Objections (June 22, 2016)


Pennsylvania

Diamond v. Torres (closed)

The NRF supported a lawsuit filed by Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, challenging the state’s congressional map as an impermissible partisan gerrymander in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The case was stayed, and ultimately dismissed, after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined in a parallel state-court challenge that the state’s congressional map “clearly, plainly, and palpably” violated Pennsylvania’s Constitution.

First Amended Complaint (November 22, 2017)


Texas

Abbott v. Perez (closed)

The NRF helped support one of the plaintiff groups that challenged Texas’ congressional map in Abbott v. Perez, a case ultimately consolidated to also include challenges to Texas’s state legislative district maps. The NRF-supported plaintiffs achieved a favorable decision from the district court panel, which found that the state’s redrawing of its congressional map in 2011 and 2013 violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and was intentionally discriminatory. The Supreme Court reversed this decision, however, in part due to the district court’s own involvement in the map-drawing process in 2012.

Supreme Court Opinion (June 25, 2018)


Virginia

Bethune Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections

The NRF is supporting plaintiffs in a racial gerrymandering case in Virginia, which successfully challenged Virginia House of Delegates districts drawn in 2011. Though the district court initially concluded the challenged districts were not racial gerrymanders in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, the Supreme Court vacated this finding in 2017, holding that the district court had applied the wrong legal standard in its analysis and remanding the case for consideration under the correct standard. On remand, the district court panel found that the state had violated the Equal Protection Clause with respect to 11 challenged districts. The court ordered the Virginia legislature to draw a new map.

Because the legislature failed to pass a remedial map on its own, however, the court appointed a special master to assist and advise the court in preparing a new district map. The parties defending the map have appealed the district court’s ruling to the Supreme Court, but the district court’s remedial map-drawing process is continuing in parallel.

Amended Complaint (June 16, 2015)
Supreme Court Opinion (March 1, 2017)
District Court Opinion on Remand (June 26, 2018)