State of Arkansas

Arkansas Act 236 Challenge

King v. Thurston

Lawsuit filed by State Senator Bryan King (R) and the League of Women Voters of Arkansas against Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston (R) challenging Act 236, a law passed in 2023 which places additional requirements on the ballot initiative process. Specifically, Act 236 requires signatures from at least 50 counties to be collected for a ballot initiative to qualify to be on the ballot, a significantly higher signature threshold than the Arkansas Constitution requires. The plaintiffs allege that Act 236 violates the Arkansas Constitution which only requires “signatures from at least 15 counties” in order for an initiative or referendum to qualify for the ballot. The plaintiffs argue that the “increase from 15 to 50 is legislation that restricts, hampers, and impairs the exercise of the rights reserved to the people under Article 5 of the Arkansas Constitution” and request that the court declare the law invalid under the Arkansas Constitution. 

STATUS: On July 3, 2024, Senator King was dismissed as a plaintiff. The League of Women Voters’ challenge against Act 236 will continue. Litigation is ongoing.

Case Documents

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