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Injunction Against a State Law Singling Out One Municipality for a Change in Local Control

Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone
February 7, 2018
Available Online Only

City of Greensboro v. Guilford County Board of Elections (Catherine C. Eagles, M.D.N.C. 1:15-cv-559)
On July 2, 2015, a state legislature restructured a city council from five members representing districts and three members elected at large to eight members representing districts, and the legislature removed control over the structure of city government from this city alone. On July 13, two weeks before the beginning of a candidate filing period, a federal complaint challenged the act, and the district judge determined that the act probably violated equal protection by treating the city differently from all other cities in the state, so the election proceeded according to the original council structure. Following a bench trial in 2017, the judge additionally determined that the new district lines unconstitutionally favored one political party. Because no party defended the constitutionality of the legislation, the judge declined the plaintiffs an award of attorney fees.
Subject: District lines. Topics: Equal protection; intervention; malapportionment; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.