Fletcher v. Lamone

Fletcher v. Lamone

December 23, 2011
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After the 2010 decennial census, Maryland enacted a new redistricting plan in October 2011 for its eight congressional districts. The plaintiffs, nine African-American residents of Maryland, commenced this action against election officials of Maryland (―Maryland‖ or ―the State‖), contending that the redistricting plan violates their rights under Article I, § 2, of the U.S. Constitution; the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution; and § 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 because the plan dilutes African-American voting strength within the State and intentionally discriminates against African-Americans. For the same reasons, plaintiffs also challenge Maryland‘s ―No Representation Without Population Act‖ (―the Act‖), which purports to correct census data for the distortional effects of the Census Bureau‘s practice of counting prison inmates as residents of their place of incarceration.

UPDATE 6/25/12: Supreme Court Upholds Maryland Law Ending Prison-Based Gerrymandering; Huge Victory For Fair Representation

This three-judge court, convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2284(a), heard arguments on December 20, 2011, on the plaintiffs‘ motion for preliminary injunction and Maryland‘s motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, as well as on the merits of the case. By agreement of the parties, the court received the testimony of all witnesses by affidavit.

For the reasons given herein, we deny Maryland‘s motion to dismiss based upon an inappropriate convening of the three-judge court, deny the plaintiffs‘ motion for an injunction -- preliminary or permanent -- and grant Maryland‘s motion for summary judgment, obviating its motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

UPDATE 6/25/12: Supreme Court Upholds Maryland Law Ending Prison-Based Gerrymandering; Huge Victory For Fair Representation