Case: Merced County, California v. Holder

1:12-cv-00354 | U.S. District Court for the District of District of Columbia

Filed Date: March 6, 2012

Closed Date: Aug. 29, 2022

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about Merced County, California seeking an exemption (“bail out”) from the special remedial provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (the “Act”).  In pertinent part, the Act provided that governmental entities and their political subdivisions identified as employing devices infringing on the right to vote would be subject to special provisions requiring preclearance before implementing new voting-related laws or devices.  Although Merced County never had any “test or device” o…

This is a case about Merced County, California seeking an exemption (“bail out”) from the special remedial provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (the “Act”).  In pertinent part, the Act provided that governmental entities and their political subdivisions identified as employing devices infringing on the right to vote would be subject to special provisions requiring preclearance before implementing new voting-related laws or devices.  Although Merced County never had any “test or device” of its own, California had a literacy test dating back to 1894, which was not formally repealed until November 7, 1972 (less than a week after the trigger date for Merced County’s coverage).

On March 6, 2012, Merced County filed a complaint for declaratory relief against the Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General, seeking a declaration that Merced County was exempted from coverage pursuant to the “bailout” provision in Section 4(a) of the Act.  The bailout provision allowed identified governmental entities to exempt themselves from the preclearance requirements upon a showing that the conditions set forth under Section 4(a) of the Act had been fulfilled over the prior ten years. 

On July 27, 2012, after appointment of a three-judge court, the parties jointly moved for approval of a consent judgment and decree.  In the joint motion, the Parties explained that the Attorney General had determined that Merced County and the political subdivisions within the county met all of the requirements of Section 4(a), and that the Attorney General would consent to a declaratory judgment granting bailout to the Merced County under Section 4(a).  

The court entered the consent judgment and decree on August 29, 2012, exempting Merced County from the preclearance requirements, but retaining jurisdiction over the matter for an additional ten years.

This case is closed. 

Summary Authors

Shaina Massie (11/2/2023)

Shaina Massie (11/27/2023)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17291955/parties/merced-county-california-v-holder/


Judge(s)

Hogan, Thomas Francis (District of Columbia)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Hebert, Joseph Gerald (District of Columbia)

Attorney for Defendant

Berkower, Risa (District of Columbia)

McLeod, Michelle Andrea (District of Columbia)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

1:12-cv-00354

Complaint For Declaratory Relief Under Section 4 Of The Voting Rights Act

Merced County, California V. Holder, Et Al

March 6, 2012

March 6, 2012

Complaint
9

1:12-cv-00354

Joint Motion For Entry of Consent Judgment And Decree

Merced County, California V. Holder

July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012

Pleading / Motion / Brief
11

1:12-cv-00354

Consent Judgment And Decree

Merced County v. Holder

Aug. 31, 2012

Aug. 31, 2012

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17291955/merced-county-california-v-holder/

Last updated March 9, 2024, 3:02 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against ERIC HOLDER, THOMAS E. PEREZ ( Filing fee $ 350, receipt number 4616046524) filed by MERCED COUNTY, CALIFORNIA. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(dr) (Entered: 03/07/2012)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

March 6, 2012

March 6, 2012

Clearinghouse

SUMMONS (3) Issued as to ERIC HOLDER (U.S. Attorney General), THOMAS E. PEREZ, and U.S. Attorney (dr)

March 6, 2012

March 6, 2012

PACER
2

Unopposed MOTION to Convene Three-Judge Court by MERCED COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(dr) (Entered: 03/07/2012)

March 6, 2012

March 6, 2012

PACER
3

ORDER granting 2 Motion to Convene Three-Judge Court. It is FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court shall transmit a copy of this order to the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2284(b)(1) so that a three-judge court may be convened. Signed by Judge Thomas F. Hogan on 3/9/2012. (tg, ) (Entered: 03/09/2012)

March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012

PACER
4

USCA ORDER filed in USCA on 03/19/2012 FOR DESIGNATION OF JUDGES TO SERVE ON THREE-JUDGE DISTRICT COURT: designating Circuit Judge David S. Tatel and District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to hear and determine this case with District Judge Thomas F. Hogan. The U.S. Circuit Court Judge to preside over this case. (ds) (Entered: 03/20/2012)

March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012

PACER
5

NOTICE of Appearance by Risa Berkower on behalf of All Defendants (Berkower, Risa) (Main Document 5 replaced on 5/8/2012) (jf, ). (Entered: 05/07/2012)

May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012

PACER
6

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by ERIC HIMPTON HOLDER, JR, THOMAS E. PEREZ (Berkower, Risa) (Entered: 05/07/2012)

May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012

PACER

ORDER granting 6 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. ERIC HIMPTON HOLDER, JR answer due 7/10/2012. Signed by Judge Thomas F. Hogan on 5/17/12. (lctfh3, )

May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer by ERIC HIMPTON HOLDER, JR. due by 7/10/2012. (tg, )

May 18, 2012

May 18, 2012

PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Michelle Andrea McLeod on behalf of ERIC HIMPTON HOLDER, JR, THOMAS E. PEREZ (McLeod, Michelle) (Entered: 07/10/2012)

July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012

PACER
8

NOTICE of Consent by ERIC HIMPTON HOLDER, JR, THOMAS E. PEREZ (McLeod, Michelle) (Entered: 07/10/2012)

July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012

PACER
9

Joint MOTION for Consent Judgment and Decree Granting Voting Rights Act Bailout by ERIC HIMPTON HOLDER, JR, MERCED COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, THOMAS E. PEREZ (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Granting Bailout)(McLeod, Michelle) Modified on 7/30/2012 (jf, ). (Entered: 07/27/2012)

1 Text of Proposed Order Granting Bailout

View on RECAP

July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012

Clearinghouse
10

NOTICE Regarding Publication of Bailout Agreement by MERCED COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (Hebert, Joseph) (Entered: 08/28/2012)

Aug. 28, 2012

Aug. 28, 2012

PACER
11

CONSENT JUDGMENT and DECREE. Signed by U. S. Circuit Judge David S. Tatel, U. S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan, and U. S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 8/29/12. (mpt) Modified on 9/4/2012 to indicate names of all three judges who signed the consent judgment (zmm, ). (Entered: 08/31/2012)

Aug. 31, 2012

Aug. 31, 2012

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) project

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 6, 2012

Closing Date: Aug. 29, 2022

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Merced County, California, and its political subdivisions

Plaintiff Type(s):

City/County Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Attorney General (- United States (national) -), Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Voting Rights Act, section 5, 52 U.S.C. § 10304 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1973c)

Special Case Type(s):

Three-Judge Court

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2012 - 2022

Issues

Voting:

Voting: General & Misc.