Cranston, Rhode Island – A federal appeals court has temporarily halted a lower court decision and order to redraw the city’s legislative boundaries pending an appellate hearing. A U.S. District Court had found that the Cranston city ward map violated the equal population mandate required under the U.S. Constitution by including the local (nonvoting) prison population in one of the wards. Thus, an initial “win” for prison gerrymandering advocates has been put on hold.
- A state chapter of the ACLU initiated the original lawsuit on behalf of 4 Cranston residents.
- The lower court judge had ordered the City redraw its map by June 20.
- Approximately 3,400 inmates were counted in the population of the City’s sixth ward.
- The appeals court will hear the appeal on an expedited schedule.