(The Center Square) — A federal judge has denied the state of Georgia’s motion for a summary judgment in a lawsuit challenging state House and Senate district lines.
In December, the ACLU of Georgia, the ACLU and the WilmerHale law firm filed a federal lawsuit challenging the district lines, saying the state violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The lawsuit argues state lawmakers should have created more than a half-dozen new Black-majority districts, given the growth of the state’s Black population over the last decade. A trial on the lawsuit is set to begin on Sept. 5.
There “are material disputes of fact and credibility determinations that foreclose the award of summary judgment to Defendant,” U.S. District Judge Steve Jones wrote in an order denying the motion. “Additionally, given the gravity and importance of the right to an equal vote for all American citizens, the Court will engage in a thorough and sifting review of the evidence that the Parties will present in this case at a trial.”
Spokespeople for Attorney General Chris Carr and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger did not respond to requests for comment.
“Georgia’s state legislative maps dilute the voting strength of Black Georgians in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The maps rob Black voters of the right to engage in politics with equal dignity and equal opportunity,” Sophia Lin Lakin, co-director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in an announcement. “This ruling is a victory and we look forward to proving our case at trial.”
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor