A federal appeals court has ruled that a group of voter-registration organizations are entitled to attorney fees from Tennessee based on being the “prevailing parties” in a suit against the state, even though they only won a preliminary injunction before Tennessee’s legislature repealed the statutory provisions they challenged.

“In this case, the district court issued a preliminary injunction that, for purposes of litigation in the district court, was final in all but name,” wrote U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Judge Raymond Kethledge on behalf of a two-judge majority panel.

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