News Feed Item

Costly Legal Fight Avoided Over Redistricting in a Georgia County

Attorneys, Local Parties Seek Federal Court's Help to Redraw Map

ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- After the U.S. Attorney General rejected Long County, Georgia's redistricting plan in August 2012, county leaders, in consultation with counsel, took a proactive approach to solving the problem. As a result, the county's five election districts were redrawn with unusual speed and under budget, elections were scheduled, and a costly legal fight was avoided.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121205/CL22808LOGO )

What course of action did Long County's Board of Commissioners and Board of Education choose? Sue the local Board of Elections to enjoin use of any existing reapportionment plan and seek the assistance of a federal three-judge panel to draw a new, interim map.

The suit alleged the state-approved 2012 map, as well as its predecessor, a 1988 map, violated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, respectively.

The proactive approach implemented by attorneys with Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, working with local counsel, avoided a costly legal fight. Just seven weeks after the suit was filed on Sept. 11, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Brunswick Division, working with the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office of the Georgia General Assembly, created a districts map that complied with the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act. And because the Court drew the lines, the map was not subject to another time consuming review by the U.S. Attorney General.

The Commissioners and Board of Education were represented by Edward Marshall, Henry Chalmers and Jennifer Shelfer of Arnall Golden Gregory in Atlanta; Jeffrey Arnold and Andrew Johnson of Arnold, Stafford, Randolph & Schaefer in Hinesville, Ga.; and B.J. Swindell of McCullough & Swindell in Glennville, Ga.

Long County had not revised its voting districts since 1988, so they were out of date with dramatic population changes. In March 2012, the Georgia General Assembly approved a new redistricting plan for Long County. The southeast Georgia county used that plan for its Board of Commissioners and Board of Education elections, which occurred on July 31 -- before the Attorney General issued a decision on the revised map.

On Aug. 27, the Attorney General announced the map had been rejected because of concerns about dilution of black voter strength. The issue arose from a statistical "retrogression" of black voters' voting power, not racial animus (as the District Court observed, all three current members of the Board of Elections are black). The election results for the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education were thrown out. But because the District Court agreed as part of the lawsuit to quickly resolve the issue by drawing a new map, Long County was able to reschedule elections for March 2013.

Attorneys for the Commissioners and the Board of Education could have pursued approval of the 2012 map in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or challenged the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, but either approach would have triggered a protracted, expensive legal fight, and elections could have been delayed indefinitely.

Instead, the approach implemented by Arnall Golden Gregory and local counsel -- inviting the District Court to redraw the map -- was the most sensible and efficient solution. All parties recognized the map was flawed, therefore all parties were eager to cooperate to find a speedy, cost-effective remedy.

"We could not be more pleased with the attention the Court gave this matter, or the speed with which it adopted a workable solution to the issues impacting the Long County voting districts," said Mr. Marshall, a partner at Arnall Golden Gregory.  "Having an interim judicial plan put in place quickly saved Long County and its voters the considerable cost and uncertainty that would have accompanied a lengthy legal battle."

Redrawing political boundaries occurs frequently in the Southeast because of the region's fluid demographics. If not done correctly, redistricting can lead to expensive legal entanglements and throw elections into disarray. The smart approach is to engage counsel with Voting Rights and Equal Protection Clause expertise at the beginning of the process to assure federal compliance and a smooth transition to a new election map.

About Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

Arnall Golden Gregory employs a "business sensibility" approach to serving clients domestically and abroad. By thoroughly understanding each client's business, AGG attorneys in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Miami deliver optimum results in a cost effective manner. AGG's areas of focus include corporate, litigation, healthcare, real estate, international, private wealth, family business, employment, life sciences, global logistics, privacy, and intellectual property law. With AGG as a partner, companies and individuals around the globe are empowered to turn legal challenges into business opportunities.

Contact: Kevin Duffy
[email protected]

SOURCE Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
@DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...