The plaintiffs in Finn v. Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration, a case challenging the constitutionality of the district map for the Cobb County Board of Education, filed an emergency motion yesterday asking the 11th Circuit Court to reconcile two conflicting decisions the court entered on Friday that could derail justice for Cobb County voters in the 2024 elections.
On Friday, two distinct 11th Circuit Court panels entered decisions involving separate but related matters in this case. The first panel paused an order enjoining the map by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia until the court can determine whether the Cobb County School District has standing in the case. Moments later, another 11th Circuit Court panel dismissed two related appeals filed by the school district, finding that the court lacked jurisdiction and that the school district was no longer a party to the case after having been previously dismissed from the lawsuit by the district court.
In light of the second panel finding the school district is not a party to the case, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion on Sunday asking the 11th Circuit to dissolve the decision that halted the district court’s order enjoining the school board map, which would allow the case to move forward.
“We are pleased that the 11th Circuit dismissed these first appeals by the school district and found that it was not a party to the case, and it was never denied the right to intervene,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys said. “We are hopeful that the 11th Circuit will remove the separate order lifting the preliminary injunction to conform with the court’s findings about the district’s non-party status. Judge Eleanor Ross ordered the district map to be redrawn in order to comply with federal law and, for the sake of our clients and of all Cobb County voters, we hope that order is upheld.”
Southern Poverty Law Center, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, ACLU of Georgia, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP filed the lawsuit on behalf of New Georgia Project Action Fund, the League of Women Voters of Marietta-Cobb, the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and individual Cobb County voters, parents, educators, and former students.