Brat v. Personhuballah

Three voters sue Virginia officials for racial gerrymandering and win on the merits in district court. The Commonwealth declines to appeal, but several U.S. Congressmen who’d intervened in the suit do appeal, prolonging the litigation several years (without altering the result). Must the Congressmen pay nearly $500k of the $1.35 mil awarded to plaintiffs? The Fourth Circuit says no: The unlawful gerrymandering was the Commonwealth’s fault, and the Congressmen’s appeal was not frivolous, so they need not pay any expenses. The Commonwealth must pay the entire award for plaintiffs’ expenses it caused, but not those caused by the Congressmen.

Tags: 2018, Equal Protection, Fourteenth Amendment, Fourth Circuit

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