First Circuit, Relying on Evenwel, Rejects “Prison Gerrymandering” Claim

You can find the unanimous 1st Circuit opinion at this link. Here is a statement from Demos.  From the opinion:

It is true that Evenwel did not decide the precise question before us. Nevertheless, we hold that its methodology and logic compel us to hold in favor of Cranston. Evenwel dictates that we look at constitutional history, precedent, and settled practice. 136 S. Ct. at 1126. Doing so leads us to find the inclusion of the ACI prisoners in Ward Six constitutionally permissible. In particular, Evenwel did not disturb Supreme Court precedent that apportionment claims involving only minor deviations normally require a showing of invidious discrimination, which has not even been alleged here. Wi Without such a showing of discrimination, Evenwel reinforces that federal courts must give deference to decisions by local election authorities related to apportionment. Finally, the Evenwel Court gave general approval to the use of total-population data from the Census in apportionment, which is what Cranston used here. Application of these principles requires us to uphold the constitutionality of Cranston’s decision to include the ACI inmates in Ward Six.

Flashback to Adam Liptak’s column, A.C.L.U.’s Own Arguments May Work Against It in Voting Rights Case.


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