Sanchez v. McDaniel, 80-1108

Citation615 F.2d 1023
Decision Date14 April 1980
Docket NumberNo. 80-1108,80-1108
PartiesJose SANCHEZ et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. W. C. McDANIEL et al., Defendants-Appellees.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit

Robert James Parmley, Tex. Rural Legal Aid, Inc., Kerrville, Tex., for plaintiffs-appellants.

Gary, Thomasson, Hall & Marks, Richard A. Hall, Corpus Christi, Tex., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Before CHARLES CLARK, VANCE, and SAM D. JOHNSON, Circuit Judges.


This action is before us on the appellants' motions for summary reversal or, in the alternative, an injunction pending appeal. The judgment of the district court is vacated and this action is remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent herewith. 1

The district court determined that the 1968 Kleberg County, Texas, apportionment plan violated the constitutional principle of one man, one vote. It directed the appellees to submit a proposed reapportionment plan by November 13, 1979. In response to the district court's order, the Kleberg County Commissioners' Court employed Dr. Robert T. Nash to prepare a reapportionment plan. The Commissioner's Court reviewed Dr. Nash's work and officially adopted his proposal as the plan it would submit to the district court.

The district court held a hearing on December 10, 1979, to determine the validity of the proposed reapportionment plan. In an order dated January 10, 1980, the district court rejected the appellants' objections to the proposed reapportionment plan, approving its use for the 1980 primary and general elections. In so doing, the court reasoned that, because the "Kleberg County Commissioners' Court did not reapportion the Commissioners' Court precincts on their own authority, but instead did so in response to a court order," the reapportionment plan "is a court-ordered plan rather than a court-adopted plan and therefore is not subject to (the) pre-clearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act." We disagree.

The United States Supreme Court in Wise v. Lipscomb, 437 U.S. 535, 98 S.Ct. 2493, 57 L.Ed.2d 411 (1978), considered the relationship between court-ordered reapportionment plans and legislative reapportionment plans. The Court recognized that the reapportionment of legislative bodies is the responsibility of the legislature, stating that it is only "when those with legislative responsibilities do not respond, or the imminence of a state election makes it impractical for them to do so, (that) it becomes the 'unwelcome obligation' . . . of the federal court to devise and impose a reapportionment plan pending later legislative action." Id. at 540, 98 S.Ct. at 2497, 57 L.Ed.2d at 417. It recognized that

(w)hen a federal court declares an existing apportionment scheme unconstitutional, it is . . . appropriate, whenever practicable, to afford a reasonable opportunity for the legislature to meet constitutional requirements by adopting a substitute measure rather than for the federal court to devise and order into effect its own plan. The new legislative plan, if forthcoming, will then be the governing law unless it, too,...

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6 cases
  • Daniel v. Sanchez
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • June 1, 1981 ordered by a federal court to remedy a constitutional violation that has been established in pending federal litigation. Pp. 146-153. 615 F.2d 1023, Richard A. Hall, Corpus Christi, Tex., for petitioners. Robert J. Parmley, Alice, Tex., for respondents. Lawrence G. Wallace, Washington, D......
  • Ching v. Case
    • United States
    • Hawaii Supreme Court
    • August 23, 2019
    ...action for prospective injunctive relief that exists independently of HRS § 632-1. See supra note 41.58 See, e.g., Sanchez v. McDaniel, 615 F.2d 1023, 1024 (5th Cir. 1980) ("The district court determined that the 1968 Kleberg County, Texas, apportionment plan violated the constitutional pri......
  • Ramos v. Koebig, 79-2316
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • March 5, 1981
    ...judgment that affects voting would be so "tainted."3 The Supreme Court has recently agreed to readdress the issue. See Sanchez v. McDaniel, 615 F.2d 1023 (5th Cir. 1980), cert. granted, --- U.S. ----, 101 S.Ct. 265, 66 L.Ed.2d 127 (1980).4 The district court in Wise did not require the Dall......
  • Daniel v. Sanchez, A-126
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • August 14, 1980
    ...are not controlled by § 5." Id., at 638, n. 6, 96 S.Ct., at 1085 n. 6. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit reversed in a per curiam opinion. 615 F.2d 1023 (1980). It relied on this Court's later decision in Wise v. Lipscomb, 437 U.S. 535, 98 S.Ct. 2493, 57 L.Ed.2d 411 (1978), for the proposition t......
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