Statement by attorneys for plaintiffs Johnson v. Riley


On August 2, 2010, the citizens and elected officials in Greene and Macon County who filed a class action suit against Governor Riley and John Tyson have now filed a motion for a preliminary injunction asking the federal district court to enforce the Plaintiffs' voting rights and to enjoin Governor Riley and John Tyson from continuing to violate those rights.

The force and effect of Amendment 744 and the Macon County Sheriff's regulations have been recognized in an opinion by the Alabama Supreme Court and two separate federal district court decisions. Likewise, Governor Riley has admitted that his appointment of a task force and its commander are changes in actual practices that have been in effect for years. There is no dispute that those changes have not received preclearance under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Governor Riley and John Tyson are not above the law. Whether Governor Riley and John Tyson are right or wrong about the legality of electronic bingo, federal law prohibits them from implementing their novel, non-judicial law enforcement practices before they have been precleared under the Voting Rights Act.

In their Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Plaintiffs have asked for the appointment of a three-judge panel to hear Plaintiffs' claims and they have asked the federal court to enjoin Riley and Tyson from continuing the Task Force's unauthorized activities and to prevent any further illegal police raids in Greene and Macon County.

The citizens of Greene and Macon County continue to suffer while Governor Riley and John Tyson continue their threats. No matter what Riley and Tyson would have you believe, this is a case about lost jobs, lost health benefits, lost scholarships, lost school revenues, and most importantly, lost votes and lost voices. The voters in Greene and Macon County spoke loud and clear when they enacted Amendments 743 and 744. Riley and Tyson have refused to listen. Today, the citizens of Greene and Macon County ask the federal court to uphold their votes and restore their voices.