With oral arguments completed, plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking to invalidate Jacksonville’s City Council districts as discriminatory toward Black voters expect a decision before city elections are held in the spring of next year. 

Voting rights groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Florida Rising and the ACLU of Florida filed the litigation earlier this year, arguing that the city’s redistricting plan for the coming decade unconstitutionally packs Black residents into four of the city’s 14 council districts.

Last week, attorneys for the city and the plaintiffs took part in oral hearings in the Middle District of Florida.