AMTRAK RACE DISCRIMINATION LITIGATION
Employment Litigation in the District Court for the District of Columbia:
Campbell, et al. v. Amtrak, 1:99CV02979 (EGS) – SETTLED
The long-running case Campbell, et al. v. Amtrak, originally filed in November 1998, has now been settled. We are gratified to have reached a resolution of the case for our Campbell clients. The Campbell case demonstrates the long-term commitment Wiggins Childs Pantazis Fisher Goldfarb has to its clients and to the cause of civil rights. We congratulate the Campbell clients on their settlement, and thank them for retaining WCPFG to represent them.
Williams, et al. v. Amtrak, 1:21CV1122 (EGS)(MU) – ACTIVE AND ONGOING
Approximately 275 of the former putative class members, as the (uncertified) classes were defined in the Campbell, et al. v. Amtrak case, filed their own individual-plaintiffs case in 2021. We recently sent a full update letter to the Williams clients, who possess the same resolve and courage as the Campbell Plaintiffs, to continue the cause of battling racial discrimination against African-Americans employed, or seeking employment, in union-represented jobs at Amtrak. Although the Update Letter contains all the important – and privileged, confidential – information for clients, below are highlights and deadlines of public record.
- RULING BY THE COURT ON APRIL 28, 2023
- Five persons who four years ago filed a motion to join Campbell were instead placed into Williams.
- HEARING IN COURT ON JUNE 7, 2023
- The Magistrate Judge held that the Court would allow the filing of a THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT. This will be the last amended complaint allowed, absent extraordinary circumstances.
- Amtrak’s various motions to dismiss or for summary judgment were denied as moot. However, they may be refiled later.
- SCHEDULE: The Magistrate Judge entered the following schedule, which was agreed upon by the parties, which was later amended, by agreement of the parties. The current
- AUGUST 28, 2023 – THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT was filed on behalf of 154 African-American individual employees or former employees, or applicants for employment to, Amtrak
- OCTOBER 20, 2023 – Amtrak’s response to Third Amended Complaint to be filed (Answer and/or Motions)
- NOVEMBER 10, 2023 – Plaintiff’s Opposition(s) to Motion(s) to Dismiss (if Motion(s) are filed on October 20)
- DECEMBER 1, 2023 – Amtrak’s Reply to Plaintiffs’ Opposition
- To view or download the THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT that was filed August 28, 2023, and is now the operative complaint, click here.
- For all named Plaintiffs in Williams, et al. v. Amtrak:
- If your physical residence address (not P.O. Box) is now different from what is listed in the caption of the THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT, please contact lead counsel, as indicated below.
- If your other contact information, including mailing address, telephone number(s), and email address(es) have changed in the past two years, please contact lead counsel.
- If you are a named Plaintiff in Williams, listed above, but have not been able open or download the Update Letters sent out since June 1, 2023, please contact lead counsel.
- If you are a named Plaintiff in Williams, listed above, please read the Update Letter carefully and thoroughly.
- Please remember that the Update Letter, and all communications to and from your lawyers, are PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL and not to be shared with anyone else and are not to be uploaded or discussed on any type of social media.
- If you have any questions about this, or anything else regarding the case, please communicate directly with lead counsel, as indicated below, or with the staff of Wiggins Childs.
- Please note that the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, which was our co-counsel in the Campbell case, is NOT involved in Williams at all. If you contact the WLC, they will simply direct you to Wiggins Childs.
- If you are listed as a Plaintiff in the Third Amended Complaint in the link above, but you do not want to be in the Williams, et al. v. Amtrak case, please contact lead counsel.
- No additional plaintiffs will be added to the Williams, et al. v. Amtrak
- Named Plaintiffs: please watch your email for more Updates and check in at this web page periodically for other news and posted documents.
Lead Attorney in the Washington, D.C. office for Williams, et al. v. Amtrak:
Timothy Fleming, of counsel
Wiggins Childs Pantazis Fisher Goldfarb, PLLC
2208 18th Street, N.W., # 110
Washington, D.C. 20009
Office phone no. (for voice mail only): (202) 467-4489
Fax no.: (205) 453-4907
Wiggins Childs Lawyers Victorious in Voting Rights Lawsuit Before Supreme Court
On Thursday, June 8, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Allen v. Milligan that the Alabama state legislature’s congressional districting map likely violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The 5-4 decision is a major victory for voting rights. Wiggins Childs is proud to have played a role on the brilliant legal team that successfully litigated this historic case from its inception in Alabama to the United States Supreme Court in Washington D.C.
The Voting Rights Act prohibits the “denial or abridgment” of a United States citizen’s right to vote based on race. Thus, a state’s political process should be “equally open” to all voters without diminishing the participation of any minority group. The Court’s opinion, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, affirmed the lower decisions of the District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in the Caster case, and of the three-judge District Court in the Milligan case. In doing so, the Court upheld that Alabama’s new districting plan engaged in the prohibited practice of racial gerrymandering. Despite Black residents totaling 27% of voting-age citizens in Alabama, only one out of the seven districts in Alabama’s congressional map held a Black majority. Alabama consolidated a large number of Black voters into this single district, which principally mirrors the western section of Alabama’s “Black Belt” region. The remainder of Black voters were scattered within the other six districts’ white majorities. The Court ruled this districting plan established racial gerrymandering and violated the Voting Rights Act.
This case is a major victory in preserving the sentiment of the Voting Rights Act nationwide and preventing the unjust practice of racial gerrymandering. By holding that Alabama violated voting rights, the Court acknowledged both racial injustice and, more specifically, the weakening of Black voters within the state. Moreover, the Court not only rejected Alabama’s map, but simultaneously rejected the state’s argument that the Court should consider a “race neutral benchmark” for districting schemes. Had this “race neutral benchmark” been adopted, Alabama’s proposed interpretation could have prevented future challenges to congressional maps based on unjust and racially discriminatory suppressions of political power.
Deuel Ross, Deputy Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, delivered the victorious argument in front of the Supreme Court.
Wiggins Childs attorney, Sidney Jackson, played a crucial role in this litigation, serving as co-counsel on the litigation team and local counsel for the out of state forces heading this civil rights battle, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF); the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); Hogan Lovell law firm; and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Each year, the Supreme Court of the United States receives an average of 7,000-8,000 requests for appeal. Only around 1% of these appeals are granted and argued in front of the court.