One US federal appeals court could potentially strip voting rights advocacy groups of their ability to fight what they see as discriminatory voting rules and unfair representation.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that under the Voting Rights Act, a landmark civil rights law that prohibits racial discrimination in voting, only the US government can bring challenges to ballot access, voting rules and redistricting.
In fact, the majority of cases involving the Voting Rights Act were filed by private parties, as the Supreme Court itself has acknowledged in previous decisions.
For example, earlier this year a panel of Supreme Court justices rejected a proposed Alabama district map after a lawsuit from a coalition of civil rights groups.
Monday’s ruling upholds an Arkansas federal judge’s 2022 ruling that only the US attorney general has the authority to file lawsuits. The Arkansas federal judge was an appointee of former US President Donald Trump.
The ruling, which is likely to be appealed, could trigger another battle over voting rights at the US Supreme Court. (rd/lt)