Democratic National Committee asks federal judges to dismiss case on Alabama party infighting

Aug 17, 2023, 11:13 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Democratic National Committee asked a federal appeals court Thursday to dismiss a case centered on Alabama party infighting that could test the requirements of the Voting Rights Act.

The DNC argued that the lawsuit, which challenged 2019 bylaws establishing new diversity caucuses, is now moot and should be dismissed because the plaintiff, Randy Kelley, is now the head of the state party and new bylaws have been enacted eliminating some of the caucuses.

Kelley sued the DNC in 2021, asking a federal judge to declare that the 2019 bylaws violated the Voting Rights Act and a decades-old consent decree meant to ensure Black people are proportionately represented on the party’s executive committee. A judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the state party could not be sued under the Voting Rights Act, but Kelley appealed to the 11th Circuit.

The lawsuit contends that the new bylaws, which added diversity caucuses for youths, disabled people, and LGBTQ+ and other Democratic voters, diluted the influence of Black committee members.

In the motion to dismiss the appeal, the DNC argued the dispute is moot since Kelley was elected party chair last year — switching party control back to the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit — and because new bylaws were enacted in May.

The case comes before the 11th Circuit after courts have weighed or dismantled some requirements of the landmark Voting Rights Act. The 11th Circuit in April federal upheld a Florida election law — tightening rules on mailed ballots, drop boxes and other popular election methods — that a lower court had ruled was aimed at suppressing Black voters.

The long-running power struggle in Alabama pitted longtime party powerbrokers against a coalition unhappy with the party’s leadership and performance in the state. Republicans currently hold all statewide offices.

The Democratic National Committee in 2019 directed the Alabama Democratic Party to update its bylaws to include diverse voices in party affairs. That led to creating new diversity caucuses. At its May meeting, the state party abolished some of those caucuses, with proponents arguing they were unneeded.

Forty Alabama Democrats filed a complaint concerning the May meeting and bylaws adopted during it, indicating they wanted the DNC to review the issue.

United States News

Associated Press

Stock market today: Worries over rates and inflation send world shares lower

Shares retreated in Europe and Asia on Friday after unexpectedly strong reports on the U.S. economy raised the possibility of interest rates staying painfully high. U.S. futures edged higher, while oil prices fell back. In early European trading, Germany’s DAX lost 0.6% to 18,638.00, while the CAC 40 in Paris gave up 0.4% to 8,071.23. […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

More severe weather forecast in Midwest as Iowa residents clean up tornado damage

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) — The skies were blue and the wind was blowing as residents of the small city of Greenfield, Iowa, worked to clean up two days after a destructive tornado ripped apart more than 100 homes in just one minute, took the lives of four residents and injured at least 35 more. All […]

6 hours ago

Arizona doctors California abortions...

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

9 hours ago


KSL Podcasts/Ben Kuebrich

Vanishing in Conroe: The Carl Everett kidnapping mystery

In 1995, Carl Everett's son vanished, triggering a ransom demand and FBI involvement. Discover the gripping true story from Conroe, Texas.

10 hours ago

Father convicted of first-degree murder in northern Arizona...

Associated Press

Arizona man convicted of first-degree murder in starvation death of 6-year-old son

A northern Arizona father was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2020 starvation death of his 6-year-old son.

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Ohio governor calls special session to pass legislation ensuring President Biden is on 2024 ballot

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday that he is calling a special session of the General Assembly next week to pass legislation ensuring President Joe Biden is on the state’s 2024 ballot. “Ohio is running out of time to get Joe Biden, the sitting President of the United States, on […]

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Democratic National Committee asks federal judges to dismiss case on Alabama party infighting