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ND to appeal redistricting ruling

North Dakota will be pursuing an appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the state’s 2021 legislative redistricting plan violates the rights of two Native American tribes because it dilutes their voting strength.

Secretary of State Michael Howe, in consultation with Attorney General Drew Wrigley and North Dakota’s legislative leadership, stated Tuesday that the state will appeal the Turtle Mountain v. Howe decision based on precedents that include a recent Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that private litigants are not permitted to bring lawsuits under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The 8th Circuit ruling, if upheld, could cause the tribal lawsuit to be dismissed, according to legislative leaders.

“The people of North Dakota expect that public policy will be made by their elected representatives, yet we know that far left law firms, often disguised as public spirited, not-for-profit organizations, will come to North Dakota and initiate lawsuits to change that policy. When they attempt to impose their agenda on the people of North Dakota by starting lawsuits, we will fight them every day, all day,” said Senate Majority Leader David Hogue, R-Minot.

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