State of Alabama

Alabama Congressional Redistricting Challenge (Milligan)

Milligan v. Merrill

Lawsuit filed in federal court on behalf of voters, Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP challenging Alabama’s new congressional map passed following the release of 2020 census data. The complaint alleges that race was the predominant factor used to draw districts without a compelling Voting Rights Act (VRA) or other governmental interest in violation of the 14th Amendment. Specifically, the complaint argues that Black voters were “packed” into the 7th District and “cracked” among three other districts in order to avoid drawing a second district where Black voters could elect their candidate of choice. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the congressional map unconstitutional and order the creation of a new map that includes two majority-Black districts.

The case was consolidated with 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 as to the Milligan plaintiffs’ claim, which was before a three-judge panel, was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. 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, which declined to pause the ruling until the Supreme Court acted. 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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