NAACP v Arkansas Board of Apportionment – 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
How a case in Arkansas is Kicking Black Voters Out of the Courthouse.
What’s at State? Our ability to Challenge Discriminatory Voting Laws!
A Federal Appeals Court rules that voters and groups like the NAACP cannot bring cases under the Voting Rights Act to the challenge discriminatory voting practices. No court has ever rules that voters cannot bring cases to enforce the Voting Rights Act – in fact, MOST of the cases in throughout country challenging discriminatory voting practices have been brought by voters – especially black and brown voters – and organizations that work to protect their rights.
What Brought the Case to Court? One Person, One Vote!
In 2021, the Arkansas NAACP brought suit challenging new redistricting lines in Arkansas that strip power from black voters and prevents them from being able to elect candidates of choice. This is known as VOTE DILUTION. And it is illegal under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The NAACP argued the state should have drawn at least four more majority black districts to account for Arkasas’ Black population. That’s the whole point of “one person, one vote”! It’s about fair representation.
What Happened? The Court Threw Out the NAACP!
Even thought the NAACP had a strong case that the map violated the voting rights of Black voters, the court rules that those voters had no right to bring the case in the first place – that only the federal goverment could bring cases like this. In November 2023, a federal appeals court agreed they could not bring the case. Lawyers with the ACLU have requested the ful lcourt reconsidering that ruling.
In this decision limited to Arkansas? No.
Cases in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota are on hold while the decision is under review. But because it conflicts with other long standing decisions, this case could soon land at the U.S. Supreme Court, and that decision would apply nationwide. How can voters challenge discriminatory laws if they are blocked from the courthouse?
What do we do to help?
Voters of color know best how racist laws affect them. That is why VOTERS themselves have brought most of the cases to enforce the Voting Rights Act. Kicking voters out of the courthouse silences our voices and only fuels more racism. Voters must be part of the solution. The good news is there’s lots we can do – starting today! We must uplift the Power of the People to Fight for Our Rights!
JOIN OUR FIGHT TO PROTECT OUR RIGHT TO VOTE!