State of Arkansas

Arkansas Legislative Redistricting Challenge

Arkansas State Conference NAACP v. Arkansas Board of Apportionment

Lawsuit filed on behalf of the Arkansas State Conference NAACP and Arkansas Public Policy Panel challenging Arkansas’ new state House map passed following the release of 2020 census data. The complaint alleges that the new map dilutes Black voting strength in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The plaintiffs argue that five additional majority-Black state House districts can be drawn across the state in order to correspond to the state’s Black population. A preliminary injunction hearing was held on Feb. 2 regarding the plaintiffs’ request that the court to block the current map from being used in future elections. The judge then ruled that there is no private right of action under Section 2 of the VRA, which means only the U.S. attorney general — and not individuals and organizations — can bring Section 2 lawsuits. The judge gave the attorney general five days from his ruling to join the case as a plaintiff. The attorney general declined to file anything, stating that “the United States continues to take the position that private parties, like the Plaintiffs here, have the ability to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act … through a private right of action.” The case was then dismissed without prejudice, which the plaintiffs appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Case Documents (district court)

Case Documents (8th circuit)

Last updated: