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Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission v. San Juan County et al (2018)

25 February 2016 Published in Resolved Cases

Participatory Democracy, Equal Protection, Racial Justice - On February 25, 2016, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), DLA Piper, LLP, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah (ACLU of Utah) filed a lawsuit against San Juan County, Utah. The lawsuit, on behalf of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, and seven members of the Navajo Nation, challenges the County’s decision to switch to a mail-only voting system, and designating the only location for in-person voting, that adversely impacts Navajo voters.

On September 9, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Jill Parrish issued a decision allowing the lawsuit to proceed to a trial on the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims that San Juan County is not providing effective language assistance to Navajo-speaking voters and is providing unequal voting opportunities to Navajo voters.

On February 21, 2018, The parties to the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission v. San Juan County reached a positive settlement agreement regarding plaintiffs’ claims that San Juan County did not provide effective language assistance to Navajo-speaking voters and that Navajo voters had unequal voting opportunities in the County.  A Motion to Dismiss was signed stipulating that the Court will keep jurisdiction over the case giving it the ability to enforce the agreement going forward.

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