Judges dismiss lawsuit challenging new US House map in Arkansas

May 25, 2023, 3:18 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A three-judge panel on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’ 2021 U.S. House map, ruling that opponents of the new congressional boundaries had not proven race motivated the Republican-led Legislature’s redistricting plan.

The lawsuit tossed by the federal panel claimed the redrawn map violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act by moving thousands of predominantly Black voters out of the 2nd District in central Arkansas, which includes Little Rock. Those voters were split between the state’s 1st and 4th congressional districts.

“The allegations do not create a plausible inference that race was the ‘predominant factor’ behind the adoption of Arkansas’s new congressional map,” the judges’ ruling on Thursday said.

Republican Attorney General Tim Griffin praised the court’s decision.

“Today, a panel of three federal judges dismissed a challenge to Arkansas’s congressional districts and confirms what we already knew: Our congressional districts do not violate the United States Constitution and are legal,” Griffin said in a statement.

Opponents of the map have argued that the state Legislature diluted the influence of Black voters by splitting up the 2nd District. Republicans hold all four of the state’s U.S. House seats, and Democrats have tried unsuccessfully in recent years to flip the 2nd District.

The ruling is the second in recent weeks dismissing a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’ congressional redistricting. A Pulaski County judge earlier this month dismissed another lawsuit over the new House boundaries, ruling the complaint should have been filed with the state Supreme Court.

A similar lawsuit over the House map was filed in federal court earlier this week.

The three-judge panel in Thursday’s ruling had dismissed part of the lawsuit in October, but allowed the plaintiffs in the case to file an amended challenge. The residents challenging the redistricting plan include two Black state legislators.

Richard Mays, an attorney for the residents, said he was disappointed in the ruling and was considering appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. Mays said he disagreed with the standard the court used to dismiss the complaint.

“If that is the standard, it will pretty much nullify any realistic attempt to set aside these redistricting acts unless there’s some admission in writing by the people who enact the legislation that they intend to racially discriminate against people,” Mays said.

United States News

Palestinians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings after an Israeli airstrike in Nusseirat refu...

Associated Press

US to airdrop humanitarian aid into Gaza — how it can help and why it’s so complicated

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday announced that the U.S. will begin airdropping sorely needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Here’s what you need to know: WHEN WILL THE AIRDROPS START? Biden said the airdrops will be coordinated with Jordan, which has conducted several rounds of airdrops into Gaza […]

33 minutes ago

Associated Press

Judge puts brakes on new law banning foreign government spending on referendums

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal judge is delaying the implementation of a voter-approved law in Maine that aimed to close an election law loophole by stopping foreign government spending on state referendum races. U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday, the day before the new law was to go into […]

36 minutes ago

Associated Press

Legislation to legalize, tax skill games in Virginia heads to governor

Virginia lawmakers passed legislation Friday that would legalize skill games, the slots-like betting machines that proliferated in businesses around the state before an on-again, off-again ban took effect. If signed by GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the bill would tax and regulate the devices, which are also known as gray machines because of the murky area […]

53 minutes ago

Associated Press

An SUV crashed into a Walmart in suburban Detroit, injuring 5 people, police say

CANTON, Mich. (AP) — A sport-utility vehicle crashed into a Walmart in suburban Detroit, injuring several people Friday afternoon, police said. Canton police said in a written statement that numerous people were transported from the scene. Chief Chad Baugh told WXYZ-TV that at least five people were injured, though the injuries were not considered to […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Question of whether Nebraska public money can go to private schools still set for November ballot

Nebraska’s top election official has ruled that voters will get to decide this year whether to repeal a law that gives taxpayer money for private school scholarships. But both Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen and state Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, who authored the school choice law and sought to have the repeal effort kept […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

New York Attorney General says a county must rescind its ban on female transgender athletes

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday demanded that a county on Long Island scuttle its new prohibition against transgender women and girls competing in female sports. Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman issued an executive order on Feb. 22 banning sports organizations from county-run athletic facilities if they allow transgender […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Judges dismiss lawsuit challenging new US House map in Arkansas