State of Tennessee

Tennessee Congressional and State Senate Redistricting Challenge

Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP v. Lee

Lawsuit filed on behalf of a coalition of civil and voting rights organizations and voters challenging Tennessee’s congressional and state Senate districts that were drawn with 2020 census data. The plaintiffs allege that the Legislature’s redistricting plans were enacted with a “discriminatory purpose,” “cracking” and “packing” Black and Brown voters in order to dilute their electoral influence. The complaint specifically asserts that the Republican-controlled Legislature split Davidson County, home to Nashville, into three separate congressional districts. According to the complaint, most of Davidson County and all of Nashville were previously contained within the 5th Congressional District, which “had reliably elected voters of color’s candidates of choice for nearly two decades.” However, the challenged redistricting plan splinters Davidson County and Nashville among the 5th, 6th and 7th Congressional Districts, rendering voters of color unable to elect their preferred candidate in any of these districts. The plaintiffs also claim that the Legislature diluted the electoral power of voters of color by splitting up the 31st state Senate District in Shelby County, home to Memphis. The plaintiffs contend that the congressional and state Senate districts are unconstitutional racial gerrymanders that were impermissibly drawn with race as a predominant factor in order to intentionally dilute the votes of Black and Brown Tennesseans. The plaintiffs ask the court to declare the challenged districts in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments and to prevent future elections from being held under them.

STATUS: A hearing on a motion to dismiss this case will be held on May 24, 2024.

Case Documents

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