Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Supreme Court sends dispute over Arkansas’ GOP-drawn congressional map back to lower court

By 37ci3 Jun3,2024



WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court A lower court was told Monday to take a fresh look at claims that Arkansas’ Republican congressional districts are trying to minimize the influence of black voters.

The justice overturned a May 2023 ruling by a three-judge federal panel that left the state’s congressional district map in place. All four districts belong to republicans.

The Supreme Court said the lower court should reconsider the case in light of the justices’ decision last month in a similar case in South Carolina, where Republican-drawn districts remained in place.

The lower court concluded that the plaintiffs, black voters and politicians “failed to reasonably infer” that race predominated when the new map was drawn.

The appeal at the Supreme Court was stalled for months while the justices decided the South Carolina case. Judges on May 23 He supported the map drawn by the Republicans in this case, he said, there was insufficient evidence to show that it was based on race as opposed to partisan considerations.

Plaintiffs in Arkansas said the 2021 map splits a community of 140,000 Blacks in the 2nd Congressional District, centered in Little Rock, into three distinct districts. This reduced the black vote and made it more difficult for blacks to vote for the candidates of their choice.

Arkansas is heavily Republican, but Little Rock is a Democratic stronghold. Black people vote for Democrats.

Opponents have made claims under both the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

State officials said that after the 2020 census, “fairly minor changes” were made to divide the state’s four congressional districts so that they each have roughly the same population.

The plaintiffs “do not allege any direct evidence of racial motive,” Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said in court filings.

A separate work The same map, which civil rights groups have protested, is scheduled to go to trial next year.



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By 37ci3

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