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A response for the attorney general: Redistricting lawsuit is about race


Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit over the racial gerrymander of the 2nd Congressional District because it’s just politics and the Supreme Court says politics can’t be used as a reason to overturn redistricting, no matter how unfair it might be to one party or the other.

Now comes Richard Mays, attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, with his response.

In short, he writes, pushing 24,000 Black Pulaski County voters out of the 2nd District into the 1st and 4th districts and replacing them with 24,000 white voters from Cleburne County is all about racial discrimination. It does, of course, help the election chances of the Republican congressman, French Hill, who’s never carried Pulaski County in part thanks to high opposition among Black voters. Even Governor Hutchinson, a Republican, noted the racial impact in refusing to sign the redistricting legislation.

Mays’ brief rejects the argument that the state is immune from lawsuit by a citizen. He said the law allows such suits to redress discriminatory state action. But even if sovereign immunity applies, the lawsuit also is based on the 13th,  14th and 15th Amendments, which guarantee equal protection of the law. Such claims are not barred by sovereign immunity.

It’s good reading on the law.

 

 

 



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