CASE SUMMARY

On December 29, 2021, the Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP and an Arkansas non-profit filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Arkansas, the Arkansas Board of Apportionment, and the State’s Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General challenging the Board’s state House redistricting plan as diluting Black voters’ voting strength in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (“VRA”). They sought a judicial declaration that the plan violated the VRA and an injunction barring the plan, or any other unlawful plan, from being used in future elections.

  • On February 17, 2022, the district court held that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the plaintiffs’ claims on the grounds that Section 2 of the VRA did not provide a cause of action for private citizens to enforce its requirements. Rather than dismiss the suit, the court gave the U.S. Attorney General 5 days to decide whether to join the case as a plaintiff.
  • On February 22, 2022, the United States informed the court it would not be joining the case. That same day, the court dismissed the case and on February 23, 2022, the plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
  • Oral arguments before the 8th Circuit were held on January 11, 2023. The court issued an opinion on November 20, 2023, affirmed the district court.
  • On January 30, 2024, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to rehear the case en banc.

CASE LIBRARY

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Central Division - No. 4:21-cv-1239

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit - No. 22-1395