Judge Rules Rep. Martin Did Not Discriminate, But Not So Sure About Democrats
Black state Senator Jack Crumbly is suing. He complains that a state redistricting plan did not make his district black enough to ensure that minorities like him are the overwhelming favorites to keep those seats, thus harming minority interests in state government. While he started by suing the entire board of apportionment (Sec. of State Mark Martin, Governor Mike Beebe, and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel) today the judges ruled that one of these men was not responsible for any unfair treatment of minorities resulting from the new district lines. That one man was also the only Republican of the three, Martin. It is the two Democrats that the three judge panel still finds suspect.
Crumbly himself testified that he did not think Martin was a part of the scheme to dilute minority votes- the heart of the complaint. Indeed Martin's version of the redistricting map would have been more in line with Crumbly's expectations, but his map was voted down 2-1 by the two Democrats on the board.
Will the results prompt black Arkansan's to give the GOP another look? That's probably not the way to bet!