U.S. District Court Grants Dechert and ACLU of Florida Motion for a Preliminary Injunction in Case Challenging Miami City’s Commission Map

May 24, 2023

On May 23, The U.S. District Court adopted the Magistrate Judge’s Report & Recommendation and granted Dechert and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida’s motion for a preliminary injunction in a case challenging the Miami City Commission’s recently drawn redistricting map. The Miami City Commission has been given the opportunity to discuss a potential timeline to create and implement a constitutionally conforming remedial map, as the case proceeds to a full trial.

Dechert and the ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit on December 15, 2022, on behalf of Grove Rights and Community Equity (GRACE), Engage Miami, the South Dade and Miami-Dade NAACP Branches and four individual city residents alleging that the Commission’s overriding goal in drawing its map was to separate racial groups into different districts as much as possible, far beyond what the Voting Rights Act requires; that the packing of Black voters into District 5, and of Hispanic voters into Districts 1, 3, and 4, is unconstitutional and diminishes those voters’ influence in adjacent districts; and that this racial gerrymandering does not advance representation and cannot be justified by compliance with the Voting Rights Act or another compelling interest.

“We are thrilled with the court’s decision to enjoin Miami’s blatant misuse of race to draw commission districts. This is a significant step towards paving the way for fair representation and equal protection under the law,” said Dechert litigation partner Neil Steiner. 

“Our Constitution protects fair representation and the Miami City Commission map does the exact opposite. All Miami voters have the right to fair representation regardless of their race, and we look forward to working with the City to develop a new, fair map,” said Nicholas Warren, staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida.

Dechert is committed to providing pro bono legal services to individuals and organizations who cannot otherwise afford legal counsel. This commitment exists in all of Dechert’s 21 offices in the United States and internationally. Each year, the firm handles hundreds of pro bono matters, covering a broad range of issues, including civil rights, international human rights, child advocacy, veterans, prisoner civil rights, landlord tenant, access to public benefits, immigration, criminal law and the representation of nonprofits, small businesses and social enterprises. This year, Dechert was again ranked by The American Lawyer among the ten top firms for pro bono both in the United States and internationally.

About Dechert

Dechert is a leading global law firm with 21 offices around the world. The firm advises on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for clients.

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