Citizens Committee to Oppose Annexation v. City of Lynchburg, Virginia, s. 75--2232

Decision Date12 January 1976
Docket Number75--2233 and 75--8386,Nos. 75--2232,s. 75--2232
PartiesCITIZENS COMMITTEE TO OPPOSE ANNEXATION, Appellant, v. CITY OF LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA, et al., Appellees. COUNTY OF CAMPBELL, VIRGINIA, Appellant, v. CITY OF LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA, et al., Appellees. CITIZENS COMMITTEE TO OPPOSE ANNEXATION, Petitioner, v. CITY OF LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA, et al., Respondents.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit

J. Leyburn Mosby, Jr., Lynchburg, Va., and E. A. Prichard, Fairfax, Va. (Hugh J. M. Jones, III, Lynchburg, Va., K. Stewart Evans, Jr., Boothe, Prichard & Dudley, Fairfax, Va., on brief) for Citizens Committee to Oppose Annexation.

Maron C. Smith, Fairfax, Va. (Robert C. Fitzgerald, Fairfax, Va., and Richard W. Elliott, Rustburg, Va., on brief), for County of Campbell.

William R. Cogar, Richmond, Va. (John S. Davenport, III, D. Eugene Webb, Jr., Mays, Valentine, Davenport & Moore, Richmond, Va., and William M. Phillips, City Atty., on brief), for City of Lynchburg.

W. H. Jolly, Salem, Va. (Kime, Jolly, Clemens & Canterbury, Salem, Va., on brief), for Lynchburg Voters League.

Before WINTER, CRAVEN and BUTZNER, Circuit Judges.

BUTZNER, Circuit Judge:

The Citizens Committee to Oppose Annexation and Campbell County, Virginia, appeal from the district court's order dismissing their action to enjoin implementation of a state court decree providing for the city of Lynchburg's annexation of portions of Bedford and Campbell Counties. We expedited this appeal because under state law the annexation is scheduled to become effective at midnight December 31, 1975. The principal objections of the committee and the county are the dilutive effect of the annexation on the right to vote for members of the city council and the possible effect of the annexation decree on the boundaries of districts for the election of members of Congress and the Virginia General Assembly.

For reasons fully explained in the district court's well-reasoned opinion, supplemented by this expression of our views, we agree that the annexation decree should not be stayed. The district court noted that the committee did not 'assert any particular effects on the voting rights of blacks as a basis for the (dilution) claim.' On appeal, however, the committee, acknowledging that it is predominantly white, argues that the rights of its black members will be adversely affected. On the other hand, the Lynchburg Voters League, a predominantly black organization, supports the city in opposing a stay of annexation, arguing that dilution of voting rights can be avoided by a ward system.

There can be no doubt, as the Attorney General of the United States has found, that the annexation will have a racially dilutive effect on voting in Lynchburg within the meaning of § 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 42 U.S.C. § 1973c. But it is also clear, as the Attorney General has intimated, that this effect can be eliminated by a fairly designed ward plan for councilmanic elections. 1 Cf. City of Richmond v. United States, 422 U.S. 358, 95 S.Ct. 2296, 2303, 45 L.Ed.2d 245, 256 (1975); City of Petersburg v. United States, 354 F.Supp. 1021 (D.D.C. 1972), aff'd 410 U.S. 962, 93 S.Ct. 1441, 35 L.Ed.2d 698 (1973). The city recognizes the need to shift from an at-large system of election to a ward plan, and it is drafting legislation to accomplish this change. We perceive no sound reasons why state and local laws cannot be amended to devise a ward system for the 1976 councilmanic elections that will meet the requirement of the Act.

The state annexation decree need not be read as modifying the boundaries of the congressional and legislative districts...

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3 cases
  • Simkins v. Gressette
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
    • May 21, 1980
    ...to Oppose Annexation v. City of Lynchburg, 400 F.Supp. 68, 71, n. 1. (W.D.Va), aff'd in part and vacated in part on other grounds, 528 F.2d 816 (4th Cir. 1975); Louisiana Affiliate of NORML v. Guste, 380 F.Supp. 404, 406 (E.D.La.1974), aff'd, 511 F.2d 1400 (5th Cir.) (Table), cert. denied, ......
  • Williams v. Sclafani, 77 Civ. 4355.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of New York
    • November 18, 1977
    ...and Citizens Committee to Oppose Annexation v. City of Lynchburg, 400 F.Supp. 68 (W.D.Va.), aff'd in part and vacated in part, 528 F.2d 816 (4th Cir. 1975), injunction denied, 423 U.S. 1043, 96 S.Ct. 766, 46 L.Ed.2d 632 (1976), for the proposition that court decrees are subject to review un......
  • Berry v. Bourne
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • December 5, 1978
    ...of annexation. Citizens Com. to Op. Annex. v. City of Lynchburg, Va. (W.D.Va.1975) 400 F.Supp. 68, 75, Modified on other grounds (4th Cir.), 528 F.2d 816, App. denied 423 U.S. 1043, 96 S.Ct. 766, 46 L.Ed.2d 632 (1976). That is this The plaintiff urges that Hunter and the many cases which ha......
2 books & journal articles

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