State of Alabama

Alabama Congressional Redistricting Challenge (Caster)

Caster v. Merrill

Lawsuit filed on behalf of multiple Black Alabama voters challenging the state’s newly-passed congressional map following the release of 2020 census data. The lawsuit argues that the new map intentionally dilutes the voting strength of Black Alabamians by only creating one majority-Black district when a second one could also be drawn in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which prohibits any law that is intended to or results in the “denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” The lawsuit asks the court to declare the recently-passed map invalid and order the creation of a new map that includes a second majority-Black congressional district.

The case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in order to be heard by the same three-judge panel convened for Singleton v. Merrill. A preliminary injunction hearing was held Jan. 4-14, after which the court blocked the use of the enacted map for future elections and ordered the creation of a new map that contains two majority-Black districts in order to comply with the VRA. The order granted regarding the Caster plaintiffs’ claim was entered by one judge and was immediately appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The order granted as to the Milligan plaintiffs’ claim, which was before a three-judge panel, was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court paused the district court’s preliminary injunction, effectively ensuring that the state’s enacted map — which only contains one majority-Black district — is in place for the 2022 elections. Litigation before the Supreme Court is ongoing with an oral argument scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Case Documents (district court)

Case Documents (11th CIrcuit)

Case Documents (u.S. supreme court)

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