Welcome!

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Long County had not revised its voting districts since 1988, so they were out of date with dramatic population changes.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]
404-873-8131

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
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
"We formed Formation several years ago to really address the need for bring complete modernization and software-defined storage to the more classic private cloud marketplace," stated Mark Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Formation Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional storage and associated copy data management practices. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in Product and Solution at Tintri, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused storage to update hundreds of child VMs (different flavors) with updates from a master VM in minutes, saving hours or even days in each development cycle. He will also...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, will highlight the current challenges of these transformative technologies and share strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” will outline the latest trends and developm...
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
“RackN is a software company and we take how a hybrid infrastructure scenario, which consists of clouds, virtualization, traditional data center technologies - how to make them all work together seamlessly from an operational perspective,” stated Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...