WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, May 23, the Christian Ministerial Alliance and a group of Black residents of Pulaski County, Arkansas filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the state’s congressional map.
This is the fourth redistricting lawsuit to be filed in the Natural State since new maps were adopted following the 2020 census and the third to challenge the congressional map. One lawsuit in state court has been dismissed, while another in federal court is ongoing.
The plaintiffs argue that the state’s 2nd Congressional District is a racial gerrymander and was enacted with discriminatory intent in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments. They contend that Pulaski County, home to the state capital of Little Rock, was divided “into not two but three separate Congressional Districts…slic[ing] through the heart of longstanding Black communities of interest…with almost surgical precision.” This division will “dilute the power of the state’s largest community of Black voters” in a “textbook case of ‘cracking’ a minority community to suppress its political voice.”
The Christian Ministerial Alliance and the group of Pulaski County residents further allege that this cracking was “intentional” and note that Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) let the map become law without his signature despite concerns about its impact on minority communities. The plaintiffs ask the court to block the map, order the creation of a map compliant with the U.S. Constitution and place Arkansas under Section 3 preclearance.