Figgs and Jackson v. Quitman County
The Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is representing voters in Quitman County, Miss. against a legal action seeking more than $300K in attorneys’ fees. Longtime civil rights attorney Ellis Turnage brought a lawsuit on behalf of two voters challenging the county’s redistricting plan. Before trial, plaintiffs decided to dismiss the case. The county then turned around and claimed the suit was “frivolous,” seeking attorneys’ fees against Turnage and his clients.
The Voting Rights Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, along with attorneys at the Campaign Legal Center, today filed a joint response in the case Figgs and Jackson v. Quitman County arguing the case was based on well-established law and supported by Dr. Allan Lichtman, one of the foremost experts in the field.
This is a purposefully high bar. The rule is meant only to deter nonsense lawsuits, not civil rights claims that may push the boundaries of our current law. If our system punished attorneys and their clients for these suits, we would have never seen the test cases brought by Thurgood Marshall, ultimately leading to Brown v. Board of Education, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s courageous litigation establishing equal rights protections for women. Courageous litigation strategies are largely how civil rights law has evolved throughout our country’s history.