A federal court said only the government, not civil rights groups or individuals, can enforce the Voting Rights Act.
The Voting Rights Act, which Congress passed to enforce the 15th Amendment, has been targeted by the right wing since it was enacted in 1965. In the last few years, the Supreme Court has weakened the Voting Rights Act but has never ruled that civil rights organizations and aggrieved individuals could not sue to enforce its provisions.
On November 20, 2023, a panel of the Eighth United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled two-to-one in a racial gerrymandering case that only the Department of Justice (DOJ) can file lawsuits to vindicate voting rights under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In Arkansas NAACP v. Arkansas Board of Apportionment, the appellate panel dismissed a lawsuit filed by Black Arkansas voters who claimed that the state’s congressional map would illegally “undermine the voting strength of Black Arkansans.”Read more Read On