Media Contact

CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

April 10, 2024

The ruling finds the Miami City Commission’s map is a racial gerrymander 

MIAMI, FL –  Today, a federal court in Miami struck down the Miami City Commission’s redistricting map as an unconstitutional gerrymander. The Court ruled that by intentionally dividing neighborhoods along racial and ethnic lines and packing Black and Hispanic voters into segregated districts, the City Commission undermined fair representation. 

Grove Rights and Community Equity (GRACE), Engage Miami, the South Dade and Miami-Dade branches of the NAACP, and five individual city residents won the case following a bench trial. U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore ruled the Miami City Commission map is a racial gerrymander under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU of Florida and pro bono co-counsel at Dechert LLP.

“We’re proud we continued to fight for equitable treatment of Miami’s residents,” said Rebecca Pelham, Engage Miami’s executive director. “Today is yet another victory for accountability. We look forward to engaging with the city in a remedial process, which considers the input of all residents.” 

The case will now proceed to another remedial process, which the court will determine in a future order. 

“We’re thrilled with the judge’s ruling,” said Clarice Cooper, GRACE board member and an individual plaintiff in the case. “Yet again, federal courts have stated the city acted improperly, and that the voices of all Miamians deserve to be heard and that all Miamians deserve to be fairly represented. As a lifelong Coconut Grove resident, I'm extremely pleased that we're finally getting the long-sought recognition. “ 

“The NAACP is thankful for this ruling. We’re proud to have lent our voice to such an important cause,” said Harold Ford, president of the NAACP South Dade Branch.

“This trial win gives us another opportunity to have our voices heard and our communities preserved,” said Daniella Pierre, President of the NAACP Miami-Dade Branch. “Democracy depends on the judicial system keeping lawmakers in check. Today is a lesson to everyone in power: efforts to diminish Black and Latino voices will not go unchallenged.” 

The lawsuit, filed on December 16, 2022, in the U.S. District Court in Miami, established that the Commission’s goal in drawing its map was to separate racial and ethnic groups into different districts far beyond what the Voting Rights Act (VRA) allows. The Court agreed that packing Black voters into District 5 and Hispanic voters into Districts 1, 3, and 4 is unconstitutional and diminishes those voters’ influence in adjacent districts. 

“Today is another win for democracy and equal representation,” said Nicholas Warren, staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida. “Our Constitution protects against racial gerrymandering, which the city of Miami egregiously violated. We look forward to another remedial process that finally ensures voters can choose their representatives, rather than politicians choosing their voters.” 

“Our team is committed to fighting for fair representation, the right for everyone’s voice to be heard equally. Yet again, we’re proud to have successfully fought against Miami’s misuse of race in their maps,” said Neil Steiner, Dechert litigation partner

The court’s ruling can be found here.