Case Summary

On June 10, 2019, two non-profits and several Arkansas voters filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Arkansas, the Arkansas Board of Apportionment and its Members, and the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners alleging the State’s method of electing State appellate judges resulted in the dilution of Black voters’ voting strength in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (“Voting Rights Act”). They sought a court order barring the State from using those methods and for the court to require a new method of election, such as single-member districts or cumulative voting, be implemented.

  • On February 21, 2020, the district court granted the State’s motion to dismiss the claims against the State of Arkansas, the Board of Apportionment, and the Board of Election Commissioners as being barred by sovereign immunity.
  • On April 10, 2020, the district court stayed discovery in the case due to the coronavirus pandemic but lifted the stay on August 11, 2020.
  • A five-day bench trial was held between April 25, 2022, and May 5, 2022.
  • On July 25, 2023, the district court issued its decision upholding the State’s election method after finding the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that it violated Section 2 of the VRA.
  • The Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration on August 22, 2023, which remains pending.

Case Library

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - 4:19-cv-00402