Stone v. Allen

Location: Alabama
Status: Ongoing
Last Update: February 13, 2024

What's at Stake

Stone v. Allen challenges Alabama’s most recently drawn state legislative maps as dilutive of Black voting power in the state in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The case is scheduled for trial in fall 2024.

On November 16, 2021, the ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, and co-counsel filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of several Black individual plaintiffs, the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, and Greater Birmingham Ministries, challenging Alabama’s newly drawn state legislative maps as racial gerrymanders. The complaint alleged that the maps for the State Senate and House pack and crack Black communities in the state as a result of a race-predominant redistricting process. Plaintiffs amended their complaint in February 2022 to add a claim under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, arguing that the map denies Black residents in the Montgomery region an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect candidates of choice. Defendants moved to dismiss the action on March 11, 2022; however, the three-judge panel stayed the action on March 21 pending the outcome of the Supreme Court’s review of the preliminary injunction enjoining Alabama’s congressional map in Allen v. Milligan.

In summer 2023, after the Milligan plaintiffs prevailed before the Supreme Court, the Stone court lifted the stay. The Plaintiffs sought a schedule that would allow for trial to be held in early 2024 to preserve the opportunity to seek special elections, but the Court denied the request and set the case to be trial ready in the fall of 2024. Plaintiffs sought to amend the complaint, over the objection of Defendants, to dismiss their racial gerrymandering claims and add another claim under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act concerning Alabama’s failure to draw a state Senate district in the Huntsville area that provides Black residents an equal opportunity to elect candidates of choice. The Court granted the motion for leave to amend, and the three-judge panel dissolved leaving only a single judge hearing the case. Defendants moved to dismiss the remaining Voting Right Act claims related the State Senate map on multiple grounds, but the Court denied their motions (except for dismissing one defendant based on legislative immunity) and scheduled the case to proceed to trial in November 2024.


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