North Dakota Redistricting Cases:  the 1990s

Grinnell v. Sinner, No. A1-92-066 (D. N.D.)

Native American plaintiffs alleged that the redistricting plan adopted by the 1991 Legislative Assembly of North Dakota violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The plaintiffs alleged that the creation of a legislative district encompassing the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and the at-large election for representatives from that district unlawfully diluted the voting strength of Native American voters on or near the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.  The federal district court dismissed the action based upon the plaintiffs' inability to create a house subdistrict having a majority Native American population in the district, thus being unable to meet the first test set forth in Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U.S. 30 (1986).

State Contact

John Bjornson
Legislative Council
State Capitol
Bismark, ND 58505-0360