Lawsuit charges maps minimize the voting strength of Black Georgians, in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
A federal trial is scheduled to begin in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity v. Raffensperger, a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s state legislative district maps.
The case, filed in 2021, charges the maps deny Black Georgians an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect candidates of choice, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
According to the lawsuit, the Georgia General Assembly should have drawn three new state Senate and five new state House districts that provide Black Georgians an equal opportunity to elect their preferred candidates, in light of the tremendous growth of the state’s Black population over the last decade. Instead, lawmakers enacted maps with district lines that deny the state’s undeniable demographic shift, diluting the political power of Black voters.
The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Georgia, and WilmerHale represent Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Sixth District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and several individual Georgia voters in this lawsuit.
Trial is set to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 9 a.m. ET, and could last more than a week.
Richard B. Russell Federal Building & United States Courthouse
75 Ted Turner Drive, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
More court information: https://www.gand.uscourts.gov/court-info/court-locations/atlanta
Sophia Lin Lakin, interim director, ACLU’s Voting Rights Project: “The district court already held that Georgia’s state legislative maps likely violate the Voting Rights Act. We look forward to making that final and working on implementing new, fair maps for Black Georgians.”
Rahul Garabadu, senior voting rights staff attorney, ACLU of Georgia: “When districts are drawn to minimize the voices of Black voters in Georgia, it damages our democracy. We filed this lawsuit on behalf of our clients to ensure that state legislative districts are drawn so that Black voters have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of choice. We look forward to presenting our case at trial next week.”
Denise Tsai of WilmerHale: “The Supreme Court has recently acknowledged that racial discrimination persists, and that the Voting Rights Act plays a vital role in ensuring redistricting fairness. This case is a clear example of that well-founded observation, and we expect that the evidence will lead the court to that conclusion.”