Davidson v. City of Cranston, R.I., No. 16-1692 (1st Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 2014, four residents of the City of Cranston, Rhode Island, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island filed a complaint against the City under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that Cranston’s 2012 Redistricting Plan violated the Equal Protection Clause. The district court entered an injunction prohibiting Cranston from holding elections, concluding that the inclusion in the Redistricting Plan of 3,433 inmates of the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) in the population count of Cranston’s Ward Six diluted the votes of voters in the City’s other five wards. The First Circuit reversed and instructed the district court to enter summary judgment in favor of Cranston, holding that the United States Constitution does not require Cranston to exclude the ACI inmates from its apportionment process and gives no power to the federal courts to interfere with Cranston’s decision to include them.