Jeffers et al v. Beebe et al
OPINION Before Three Judge Panel District Judge Holmes, Circuit Judge Smith, and District Judge Wright, finding that the plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden of proving a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act or the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution; the 90 MOTION to Reopen Case to hear further testimony is DENIED. Signed by Judge Lavenski R. Smith on 9/17/12. (vjt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
FUTURE MAE JEFFERS; MARY JEFFERS;
HENRY PEACOCK; SHIRLEY HARVELL;
REV. RONALD WILLIAMS; PEGGY R. WRIGHT;
LAURA LOVE; FRANK SHAW; C.W. CAMPBELL;
LEO CHITMAN; ETTA CAMPBELL; PLEZ LUCAS;
VICKIE ROBERTSON; JOSEPH PERRY; ELBERT SMITH;
SANDRA BAGLEY; NIKKI DISMUKE; ALICE W. VALLEY;
LAKETHA BROWN FLUKER; KATRINA HARRELL;
CHESTER HARRELL; EDDIE O'NEAL; CHRISTOPHER
FRANKLIN; and JACK BERNARD CRUMBLY
No. 2:12CV00016 JLH
MIKE BEEBE, in his capacity as Governor of Arkansas
and Chairman of the Arkansas Board of Apportionment;
MARK MARTIN, in his capacity as Secretary of State
of Arkansas and as a member of the Arkansas Board
of Apportionment; DUSTIN MCDANIEL, in his
capacity as Attorney General of Arkansas and a member
of the Arkansas Board of Apportionment; and
ARKANSAS BOARD OF APPORTIONMENT
EASTERN DISTRICT ARKANSAS
SEP 17 2012
JAMES W. McCORMACK, CLERK
Before Three Judge Panel
District Judge Holmes, Circuit Judge Smith, and District Judge Wright
Following the 2010 census, the Arkansas Board of Apportionment 1 ("Board"), consisting of
Governor Mike Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, and Secretary of State Mark Martin,
adopted by a 2-to-1 vote a plan of reapportionment for the Arkansas General Assembly. Relevant
to the present dispute, this plan created new Arkansas State Senate ("Senate") District 24, which
consists of all of Crittenden County and parts ofLee, Phillips, and St. Francis Counties. Twenty-four
''The Board of Apportionment is created by Article VIII, Section 1 ofthe Constitution of
Arkansas." Jeffers v. Clinton, 730 F. Supp. 196, 199 (E.D. Ark. 1989) ("Jeffers f') (three-judge
court), aff'd memo., 498 U.S. 1019 (1991).
plaintiffs bring this suit against the Board, claiming that the 2011 Senate plan-specifically Senate
District 24-violates § 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, as amended 42 U.S.C. § 1973 et
seq., and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
We have thoroughly reviewed the record evidence, including numerous exhibits and expert
testimony. 2 "We have carefully considered the proof with due regard to the intensely practical nature
of the political process." Jeffers I, 730 F. Supp. at 198. We now hold that the plaintiffs failed to meet
their burden of proving the Gingles3 preconditions or intentional discrimination and therefore did
not demonstrate a violation of their rights under federal law.
In Arkansas, "the Delta" encompasses those "districts located along the Mississippi River."
/d. at 200. Section 2 vote-dilution claims involving the Delta have an extensive history. 4 In 1990, a
The court conducted a four-day bench trial from May 7, 2012, to May 10, 2012, in Helena,
Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U.S. 30 (1986).
See, e.g., Smith v. Clinton, 687 F. Supp. 1310, 1311 (E.D. Ark. 1988) (three-judge court)
("Smith f') (holding that "at-large election ofrepresentatives in this multimember structure so dilutes
the voting strength of black residents of the district as virtually to guarantee that no black person will
ever be elected State Representative in Crittenden County"); Smith v. Clinton, 687 F. Supp. 1361,
1363 (E.D. Ark. 1988) (three-judge court) ("Smith If'), affd memo., 488 U.S. 988 (1988) (ordering
Board to implement plaintiffs' plan providing for single-member majority-black district in Crittenden
County with "amajorityblackpopulation of60.55% among residents of voting age" to "give blacks
a fair opportunity to elect the candidate of their choice to the Arkansas House of Representatives
[("House")], and· help to eradicate the effect ofthe dual-member, at-large system on participation by
blacks in the political process"); Jeffers/, 730 F. Supp. at 198 (holding that the plaintiffs, 17 black
electors, "demonstrated a violation oftheirrights under federal law" because the 1981 apportionment
plan only created five majority-minority districts-" one in the Senate and four in the House"-when
"a total of 16 such districts, three in the Senate and 13 in the House, could have been created")
(footnote omitted); Jeffers v. Clinton, 756 F. Supp. 1195, 1198-1200 (E.D. Ark. 1990) ("Jeffers If')
(three-judge court), affd memo., 498 U.S. 1019 (1991) (rejecting as legally insufficient Board's
proposed remedial plan creating a House district in Monroe and Phillips Counties with a black
three-judge panel ofthe federal district court found that the State of Arkansas had violated § 2 of the
VRA by "creat[ing] only five legislative positions [in its 1981 apportionment plan], one in the Senate
and four in the House, representing districts in which a majority of the voting-age population was
black" when it could have created "a total of 16 such districts, three in the Senate and 13 in the
House." Jeffers I, 730 F. Supp. at 198 (footnote omitted). 5 At the remedy stage, the court ordered that
Crittenden County be divided, with the southern part placed into a new Senate District 30, along with
portions of Cross, Lee, Phillips, and St. Francis Counties. Jeffers II, 756 F. Supp. at 1200. The 1990
Senate District 30 had a black voting-age population (BV AP) of 62 percent, according to the 1980
census. !d. at 1202-03 (opinion on reconsideration filed Mar. 5, 1990).
In 1991, the Board redrew the boundaries of the 1990 Senate District 30 to include portions
of Crittenden, Lee, Phillips, and St. Francis Counties but to exclude Cross County. The Board
voting-age population (BV AP) of 58 percent and a House district in Lee and St. Francis Counties
with a BVAP of 56 percent and adopting plaintiffs' plans for those districts, with a BVAP of 63
percent and 64 percent, respectively, and also rejecting as legally insufficient Board's proposed
remedial plan for a Senate district including portions of Crittenden, Cross, Lee, Phillips, and St.
Francis Counties that had a BVAP of 55 percent and adopting plaintiffs' plan, with a BVAP of 60.5
percent); Jeffers II, 7 56 F. Supp. at 1202 (opinion on reconsideration filed March 5, 1990) (granting
Board's motion for reconsideration to modify the Senate district by "increas[ing] the ... BVAP
... of this District from 61% to 62%" in order "to prevent two incumbent white senior Senators from
being placed in the same district"); Jeffers v. Tucker, 847 F. Supp. 655, 660-62 (E.D. Ark. 1994)
(three-judge court) (holding that black voters failed to satisfy Gingles compactness precondition for
vote-dilution claim regarding Arkansas's state legislative apportionment plan for both the House and
Senate because the black population was too widely dispersed for there to be a holding that the Board
violated Section 2 by refusing to draw additional House and Senate districts as the black voters
At the liability stage of the Jeffers litigation, the court did "not hold that the law requires
the creation of any particular number of majority-black districts." Jeffers I, 730 F. Supp. at 217.
Instead, the court found "how many such districts can be created" and learned "that their lines can
be drawn so as to make them reasonably compact and contiguous." !d. Thus, the court articulated
"a sort of presumption that any plan adopted should contain that number of majority-black districts."
numbered the new 1991 district Senate District 22. When drawn in 1991, Senate District 22 had a
BVAP of61.91 percent, according to the 1990 census. See Tucker, 847 F. Supp. at 660 n.4.
In 2001, the Board drew Senate District 16, which contained portions of the same
counties-Crittenden, Lee, Phillips, and St. Francis-previously included in the 1991 Senate District
22. According to the 2000 census, the 2001 Senate District 16 had a BVAP of 55.48 percent. The
portions of Crittenden, Lee, and St. Francis Counties that were not included in the 2001 Senate
District 16 were included in Senate District 17, along with all of Cross, Monroe, and Woodruff
Counties and the portions of Phillips County that were not included in Senate District 16 or 5.
According to the 2000 census, the 2001 Senate District 17 had a BVAP of 27 percent.
According to the 2010 census data, blacks constitute 15.4 percent of Arkansas's total
population. Lee, Phillips, Crittenden, and St. Francis Counties each have a 2010 census total
population consisting of an African-American majority. 6 Phillips, Lee, and St. Francis Counties have
According to the parties' joint stipulation of facts, Senate "District 16['s] Population by Rae~
by County" is as follows:
the first, second, and fifth highest percentage of African-American population of any counties in the
state. In Lee County, the total population decreased by 17.1 percent, and the black population
decreased by 20 percent. The 2010 BVAP of Lee County is 52.9 percent. In Phillips County, the total
population decreased by 17.7 percent, and the black population decreased by 12.1 percent. According
to the 201 0 census, Crittenden County has a black population of 51.2 percent and a BVAP of 4 7
percent. And, St. Francis County has a 2010 BVAP of 48.2 percent. Overall, the BVAP for 2001
Senate District 16 increased from 55 percent in 2000 to 61 percent in 2010, according to the 2010
Population shifts in Arkansas necessitated redrawing the boundaries of Senate District 16.
Based on Arkansas's population, an ideal Senate district would have a population of 83,312. If the
boundaries of Senate District 16 remained the same after the 2010 census, then it would fall short
ofthe ideal population size by over 14,000. Specifically, the 2010 census showed that Senate District
16 had a population of68,732, which was 14,580-or 17.5 percent-less than the ideal population
of 83,312. To meet equal-population requirements so that Senate District 16's population was no
more than five percent below the ideal, its boundaries needed to be redrawn to add at least 10,415
people, bringing its total population up to at least 79,147.
After the 2010 census, the Board, in a 2-to-1 vote, adopted a Senate reapportionment plan
that created a new Senate district comprised of all of Crittenden County and parts of Cross, Lee,
Phillips, and St. Francis Counties. This new district is called Senate District 24. 7 Overall, the Board's
2011 Senate plan has four majority-minority districts-the same number of Senate majority-minority
districts as in the 2001 Senate plan.
Governor Beebe and Attorney General McDaniel, both Democrats, voted for the plan, while
Secretary Martin, a Republican, voted against the plan. Secretary Martin had submitted his own
redistricting plan, which included a BVAP of 56.1 percent for the area that most closely reflects the
boundaries of old Senate District 16 and new Senate District 24. Secretary Martin's plan did not
unify Crittenden County.
As adopted, Senate District 24 has a black population of 57.05 percent, a BVAP of 52.88
percent, and a minority vote-age population of 55.72 percent. New Senate District 24 includes a state
prison unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction called the East Arkansas Regional Unit.
According to the 2010 census, the black adult prisoner population of the prison is 849. The nonblack adult prisoner population ofthe prison is 83 3. On census day, the BVAP ofthe prison was 50.5
percent. Excluding the prison from the tabulation of new Senate District 24's BVAP would increase
the district's BVAP to above 52.88 percent.
New Senate District 24 restores all of Crittenden County to the district. This restoration has
significant effects on the size and makeup of the voting-age population. While African Americans
comprised about 66 percent of the total population of former Senate District 16 and about 61 percent
of its voting-age population, the areas of Crittenden County included in new Senate District 24 that
See Stipulated Exhibit 3 in Addendum comparing the 2001 Senate District 16 with the 2011
Senate District 24.
were not included in Senate District 16 are about two-thirds white. 8 A voting-age population of
approximately 11 ,952 in St. Francis County that was part of Senate District 16 was not included in
Senate District 24. Senate District 24 has the largest population of any Senate district-87,147,
which is 3,835 or 4.6 percent more than the target size. 9
State Representatives Jerry R. Brown, Clark Hall, and Keith Ingram are all white Democratic
incumbents residing in the 2001 Senate District 17 during their 2011-2012 term. Representatives
Brown and Hall are serving their third term in the House and are term-limited from running for the
According to the parties' joint stipulation of facts, the following table shows "Crittenden
County Whites Added":
See Stipulated Exhibit 66 in Addendum.
House again in 2012. Representative Ingram is currently serving his second term in the House and
is not term-limited from running for the House again in 2012. State Senator Jim Luker is a white
Democrat elected from the 200 1 Senate District 17. He is serving his third term in the Senate and
is term-limited from running for the Senate again in 2012. State Senator Jack Crumbly, a plaintiff
in the present action, is an African-American Democratic incumbent from St. Francis County elected
to the Senate from the 2001 Senate District 16.
Under the adopted 2011 Senate plan, Representative Brown's residence is in Senate District
23, the successor to the 2001 Senate District 17. Representatives Hall's and Ingram's residences are
now located in Senate District 24. Likewise, Senator Crumbly's residence is now included in Senate
On September 14, 2011, Representative Brown announced his intention to run for the
Arkansas State Senate from District 23. On October 17, 2011, Representative Hall announced his
intention to run for the United States Congress from the First Congressional District. On January 16,
2012, Representative Ingram announced his intention to run for the Arkansas State Senate from
Senate District 24. Senator Crumbly, like Representative Ingram, also intended to run for the
Arkansas State Senate in Senate District 24.
On January 23, 2012, 24 African-American plaintiffs, all residents, citizens, and registered
voters within Crittenden, Lee, St. Francis, and Phillips Counties, filed suit against Governor Beebe,
in his capacity as Governor of Arkansas and Chairman ofthe Board; Secretary Martin, in his capacity
as Secretary of the State of Arkansas and as a member of the Board; Attorney General McDaniel,
in his capacity as Attorney General of Arkansas and as a member of the Board; and the Board.
In their amended complaint, the plaintiffs allege as their first cause of action that the Board's
2011 Senate reapportionment plan-specifically Senate District 24-violates § 2 of the VRA, as
amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1973 et seq. According to the plaintiffs, "[t]he plan denies or abridges the
[p ]laintiffs' right to vote on account of their race and color, by diluting their voting strength as
African[-]American citizens in Arkansas." They claim that the Senate "plan does not afford
[p]laintiffs an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of
their choice and denies [p]laintiffs the right to vote without discrimination on account of their race
and color, in violationof42 U.S.C. § 1973."
For their second cause of action, the plaintiffs allege that the Board adopted the Senate plan
"with an intent to, and it does, deny or abridge the right of African[-]American citizens residing in
northeastern Arkansas to vote on account of their race and color." They allege that this intentional
discrimination violates the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
The plaintiffs request that this court enter (1) a declaratory judgment that the defendants'
actions violate their rights under§ 2 and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, (2) a permanent
injunction enjoining and forbidding the use of the 2011 Senate plan, (3) a permanent injunction
requiring the defendants "to develop and adopt a redistricting plan for Senate District 24 and adjacent
districts that does not dilute African-American voting strength for the office of Arkansas State
Senator," (4) an order retaining jurisdiction over the matter until the defendants comply, and (5) an
order requiring the defendants to pay the plaintiffs' costs, including reasonable attorney's fees.
A. Section 2 Claim
We first address the merits of the plaintiffs' § 2 claim. The plaintiffs argue that the 2011
Senate redistricting plan dilutes the voting strength of African-American citizens within Senate
District 24. According to the plaintiffs, Senate District 24 is not an effective majority-minority
district because a BVAP of 52.88 percent in the Delta region does not give African Americans an
equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice. The plaintiffs claim that in their case, as
in Jeffers I and //, an effective majority-minority district in this region requires a BVAP over 60
percent. The plaintiffs' proposed map-Jeffers_03 Proposal 10-creates a new Senate District 24 with
a BVAP of 58.41 percent.
Section 2 ofthe Voting Rights Act of 1965,42 U.S.C. § 1973, provides:
(a) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or
procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision in a
manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the
United States to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the
guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) ofthis title, as provided in subsection (b)
of this section.
(b) A violation of subsection (a) of this section is established if, based on the totality
of circumstances, it is shown that the political processes leading to nomination or
election in the State or political subdivision are not equally open to participation by
members of a class of citizens protected by subsection (a) of this section in that its
members have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate
in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice. The extent to
which members of a protected class have been elected to office in the State or
political subdivision is one circumstance which may be considered: Provided, That
nothing in this section establishes a right to have members of a protected class
elected in numbers equal to their proportion in the population.
Subsection (a) "requires consideration of effects, as it prohibits practices imposed or applied
in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right to vote." Bartlett v. Strickland, 556
U.S. 1, 10 (2009) (plurality opinion) (quotation, alteration, and citation omitted). Subsection (b) sets
forth "a test for determining whether a§ 2 violation has occurred." /d. It "requires a showing that
minorities 'have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to ... elect representatives of
The parties stipulated to the Jeffers_03 Proposal, which is Exhibit 1. See Addendum.
their choice."' /d. at 14 (alteration in original) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1973(b)).
"Vote[-]dilution claims [under § 2] are 'peculiarly dependent upon the facts of each case,'
requiring 'an intensely local appraisal of the design and impact of the contested electoral
mechanisms."' Cottier v. City of Martin, 604 F.3d 553, 559 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Gingles, 478
U.S. at 79). "It is the plaintiffs' burden to demonstrate the existence of vote dilution." /d. (citing
Voinovich v. Quilter, 507 U.S. 146, 155-56 (1993)).
The Supreme Court "first construed the amended version of§ 2 in ... Gingles." Bartlett, 556
U.S. at 11. The Gingles Court set forth
three "necessary preconditions" for a claim that the use of multimember districts
constituted actionable vote dilution under § 2:[ ](1) The minority group must be
"sufficiently large and geographically compact to constitute a majority in a
single-member district," (2) the minority group must be "politically cohesive," and
(3) the majority must vote "sufficiently as a bloc to enable it ... usually to defeat the
minority's preferred candidate."
/d. (second alteration in original) (quoting Gingles, 478 U.S. at 50-51).
Following Gingles, the Supreme Court "held that the three Gingles requirements apply
equally in§ 2 cases involving single-member districts, such as a claim alleging vote dilution because
a geographically compact minority group has been split between two or more single-member
districts." /d. (citing Growe v. Emison, 507 U.S. 25,40-41 (1993)). "In a§ 2 case, only when a party
has established the Gingles requirements does a court proceed to analyze whether a violation has
occurred based on the totality ofthe circumstances." /d. at 11-12 (citing Gingles, 478 U.S. at 79;
Johnson v. De Grandy, 512 U.S. 997, 1013 (1994)). "[T]he Gingles requirements 'cannot be applied
mechanically and without regard to the nature of the claim."' /d. at 19 (quoting Voinovich, 507 U.S.
at 158). They function as "preconditions, consistent with the text and purpose of§ 2, to help courts
determine which claims could meet the totality-of-the-circumstances standard for a § 2 violation."
/d. at 21 (citing Growe, 507 U.S. at 40).
"[Section] 2 can require the creation of' "majority-minority districts [in which] a minority
group composes a numerical, working majority of the voting-age population." /d. at 13 (citing
Voinovich, 507 U.S. at 154 ("Placing black voters in a district in which they constitute a sizeable and
therefore 'safe' majority ensures that they are able to elect their candidate of choice.")). 11 "Majorityminority districts are ... required if all three Gingles factors are met and if § 2 applies based on a
By contrast, "influence districts" are those "in which a minority group can influence the
outcome of an election even if its preferred candidate cannot be elected. [The Supreme] Court has
held that § 2 does not require the creation of influence districts." Bartlett, 556 U.S. at 13 (citing
League ofUnited Latin Am. Citizens v. Perry, 548 U.S. 399,445 (2006)).
And, in a "crossover district,"
minority voters make up less than a majority of the voting-age population. But in a
crossover district, the minority population, at least potentially, is large enough to
elect the candidate of its choice with help from voters who are members of the
majority and who cross over to support the minority's preferred candidate.
/d. In Bartlett, a plurality of the Supretpe Court held that such "crossover districts" do not satisfy the
Gingles requirement that the minority population be large enough and yet sufficiently geographically
compact to constitute a majority in a single-member district because minorities in crossover districts
make up less than 50 percent of the voting-age population. /d. at 12-20.
Justice Kennedy authored the plurality opinion in Bartlett, and Chief Justice Roberts and
Justice Alito joined in that opinion. /d. at 5. Justice Thomas authored a separate opinion concurring
in the judgment in which Justice Scalia joined. /d. at 26. The concurring opinion concluded that
"[t ]he text of § 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 does not authorize any vote dilution claim,
regardless of the size ofthe minority population in a given district." /d. (Thomas, J., concurring in
the judgment). "When a fragmented Court decides a case and no single rationale explaining the result
enjoys the assent of five Justices, 'the holding of the court may be viewed as that position taken by
those Members who concurred in the judgments on the narrowest grounds .... "' Marks v. United
States, 430 U.S. 188, 193 (1977) (alteration in original) (quoting Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153,
169 n.15 ( 197 6) (opinion of Stewart, Powell, and Stevens, JJ.)). Applying this test, Justice Kennedy's
opinion for the three-justice plurality in Bartlett reaches the judgment on the narrowest grounds;
therefore, we deem it controlling.
totality of the circumstances." !d. at 24.
But "[n]othing in§ 2 grants special protection to a minority group's right to form political
coalitions. '[M]inority voters are not immune from the obligation to pull, haul, and trade to find
common political ground."' !d. at 15 (second alteration in original) (quoting De Grandy, 512 U.S.
at 1020). "Section 2 [also] does not impose on those who draw election districts a duty to give
minority voters the most potential, or the best potential, to elect a candidate ... ."!d. (emphases
added). It "does not guarantee minority voters an electoral advantage." !d. at 20. The Supreme "Court
[has] rejected the proposition ... that§ 2 entitles minority groups to the maximum possible voting
strength." !d. at 15-16 (emphasis added); see also id. at 23 ("When we address the mandate of§ 2,
... we must note it is not concerned with maximizing minority voting strength, De Grandy, 512
U.S., at 1022, 114 S.Ct. 2647; and, as a statutory matter,§ 2 does not mandate creating or preserving
crossover districts."). According to the Court:
"[R]eading § 2 to define dilution as any failure to maximize tends to obscure the very
object of the statute and to run counter to its textually stated purpose. One may
suspect vote dilution from political famine, but one is not entitled to suspect (much
less infer) dilution from mere failure to guarantee a political feast."
!d. at 16 (alteration in original) (quoting De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1016-17).
"In setting out the first requirement for § 2 claims, the Gingles Court explained that'[u]nless
minority voters possess the potential to elect representatives in the absence of the challenged
structure or practice, they cannot claim to have been injured by that structure or practice."' !d. at 15
(alteration in original) (quoting Gingles, 478 U.S. at 50 n.17). The purpose of the first Gingles
requirement is "'to establish that the minority has the potential to elect a representative of its own
choice in some single-member district."' !d. (quoting Growe, 507 U.S. at 40). In the absence of" such
a showing, 'there neither has been a wrong nor can be a remedy."' /d. (quoting Growe, 507 U.S. at
"[T]he first Gingles factor ... require[s] a majority-minority standard." /d. at 19. "[A] party
asserting§ 2liability must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the minority population in
the potential election district is greater than 50 percent." /d. at 19-20 (emphasis added). "[T]he
majority-minority rule relies on an objective, numerical test: Do minorities make up more than 50
percent of the voting-age population in the relevant geographic area?" /d. at 18 (emphasis added).
"[T]he majority-minority requirement [furthers] the need for workable standards and sound
judicial and legislative administration. The rule draws clear lines for courts and legislatures alike."
/d. at 17 (emphases added). It "provides straightforward guidance to courts and to those officials
charged with drawing district lines to comply with § 2." /d. at 18 (emphasis added). This rule is
rooted "in principles of democratic governance." /d. at 19. In our system of government, "[t]he
special significance ... of a majority means it is a special wrong when a minority group has 50
percent or more of the voting population and could constitute a compact voting majority but, despite
racially polarized bloc voting, that group is not put into a district." /d. (emphases added).
"Disregarding the majority-minority rule and relying [instead] on a combination [of other factors
like] race and party to presume an effective majority would involve the law and courts in a perilous
enterprise." /d. at 22 (emphasis added).
As a result,
[w]here an election district could be drawn in which minority voters form a majority
but such a district is not drawn, or where a majority-minority district is cracked by
assigning some voters elsewhere, then-assuming the other Gingles factors are also
satisfied--denial of the opportunity to elect a candidate of choice is a present and
discernible wrong ....
!d. at 18-19 (emphasis added).
In the present case, we conclude that the plaintiffs have not established a claim for vote
dilution under § 2 because the 2011 Senate District 24-the challenged district-is already a
majority-minoritydistrictunder Bartlett's definition. It has aBVAP of52.8 percent, which is "greater
than 50 percent." !d. at 20. Thus, the plaintiffs have not shown that "an election district could be
drawn in which minority voters form a majority but such a district [was] not drawn." !d. at 18. In
other words, the plaintiffs failed to "prove that the alleged vote-dilution practice prevented the
creation of an election district that would have contained a majority of minority voters." Backus v.
South Carolina, Case No.3: 11-cv-03120-HFF-MBS-PMD, 2012 WL 786333, at* 10 (D.S.C. Mar.
9, 2012) (emphasis added) (citing Bartlett, 556 U.S. at 18-20) (notice of appeal to the Supreme
Court filed on Mar. 19, 20 12). Because the plaintiffs "are unable to make that showing, they cannot
satisfy the first Gingles precondition and therefore cannot state a § 2 claim." Jd. 12
The plaintiffs' expert, Dr. Lisa Handley, never testified that Senate District 24 was not a
majority-minority district; instead, her contention was that it was not an effective one. Dr. Handley
testified that she did not believe that the 2011 Senate District 24 was an "effective district" because
the 2001 "Senate District 16 at 60 or 61 percent black voting age population has not been successful
in electing a black-preferred candidate." (Emphasis added.) She admitted "that it's not possible to
draw a district that's greater than that in black voting age population, in fact not even to meet that."
This case, unlike Bartlett, does "involve allegations of intentional and wrongful conduct."
Bartlett, 556 U.S. at 20 (explaining that the Court "need not consider whether intentional
discrimination affects the Gingles analysis" and clarifying that the Court's "holding does not apply
to cases in which there is intentional discrimination against a racial minority"). But, as discussed
infra, we conclude that no intentional or wrongful conduct occurred. See infra Part II. B. Therefore,
the plurality's analysis in Bartlett unquestionably applies to the present case.
(Emphases added.) Nevertheless, she "suggest[ed] that you come as close as you can to that because
if60 percent doesn't work, certainly 53 percent is not going to work." (Emphasis added.) As Bartlett
states, the Board has no obligation under § 2 "to give minority voters the most potential, or the best
potential, to elect a candidate." Bartlett, 556 U.S. at 15. Nor does§ 2 require the Board to maximize
minority voting strength, see id. at 16, 23, which is what Dr. Handley's conclusion that over "60 or
61 percent" is necessary to form an "effective district" essentially requires.
Interestingly, if we applied Dr. Handley's suggestion of a greater-than-61-percent BVAP,
even the plaintiffs' proposed BVAP would be insufficient to provide minority voters in the proposed
district with the ability to elect candidates of their choice. Like the 2011 Senate District 24, the
plaintiffs' proposed map creating a new Senate District 24 with a BVAP of 58.41 percent falls short
of the over "60 or 61 percent" that Dr. Handley deemed necessary to create an "effective district." 13
The plaintiffs' evidence establishes that the Board could not draw a district with a BVAP that is
greater than 60 or 61 percent, and we conclude that, under Bartlett, the Board was not required to ·
do so. Furthermore, while a BVAP of 58.41 percent would be preferable to 52.8 percent, § 2 does
not require it under current controlling Supreme Court precedent. Under Bartlett, all that§ 2 requires
A] rule of thumb has evolved that sets a 65 percent minority population as the basis for
an effective majority."' Cottier, 604 F.3d at 566 (Smith, J., dissenting) (alteration in original)
(quoting Kimball Brace et al., Minority Voting Equality: The 65 Percent Rule in Theory and
Practice, 10 Law & Pol'y 43,45 (1988)). "Scholars have researched the origins of the 65-percentrule
but have not found it in a holding of the Supreme Court." !d. (Smith, J., dissenting) (footnote
omitted). After Gingles, "district courts within this circuit expressly applied a 60-percent or 65percent rule" in the remedial stage of§ 2 litigation. !d. at 567 (Smith, J., dissenting) (citing Smith
II, 687 F. Supp. at 1363; Jeffers II, 756 F. Supp. at 1198). In the present case, the parties have
stipulated that "[t]he percentage minority population needed to create an 'effective minority district'
(that is, a district that provides minority voters with the ability to elect candidates of their choice to
office) varies depending on the locality- there is no single target (for example, 65 percent) that can
be applied universally."
is that "[w]here an election district could be drawn in which minority voters form a majority," and
all other Gingles factors are satisfied, the Board draw such a district. !d. at 18. Here, the Board
satisfied this requirement by drawing a district with a BVAP of 52.8 percent.
The second Gingles precondition is that the minority group must be "politically cohesive."
Gingles, 478 U.S. at 51. Here, it is undisputed that this element has been met.
Not so with the third precondition, that the majority must vote "sufficiently as a bloc to
enable it ... usually to defeat the minority's preferred candidate." Id Because Senate District 24 is
a new district drawn with boundaries substantially different from the prior Senate District 16, we are
faced with the difficulty of trying to predict whether white voters in Senate District 24 would vote
sufficiently as a bloc so as usually to defeat the minority's preferred candidate. The evidence
established that, for various reasons, the turnout rate for voting age blacks is less than that for whites.
On the other hand, whites tend to vote less cohesively than blacks. Here, with respect to the third
Gingles factor, the plaintiffs have the burden of proving that the BVAP in Senate District 24 of
approximately 53 percent is so low that whites will vote as a bloc so as usually to defeat the
To meet their burden on this issue, the plaintiffs relied largely on the expert testimony of Dr.
Lisa Handley. To estimate the percentage of black and white voters who voted for particular
candidates, Dr. Handley used three mathematical techniques - homogeneous precinct analysis,
bivariate ecological regression and ecological inference - involving prior elections in Senate
District 16, as well as bi-racial contests (contests that included both African-American and white
candidates) in nearby legislative districts as well as in some state and federal races. As noted above,
Dr. Handley concluded that in Senate District 24 white voters would usually vote as a bloc so as to
defeat the minority-preferred candidate. Dr. Handley's testimony is unpersuasive, however.
We do not question, for purposes of this opinion, the validity of the three mathematical
techniques used by Dr. Handley. We do question, however, the reliability ofher results using those
mathematical techniques in this specific case. Because voting records do not identify the race of the
voters, the analyses performed by Dr. Handley depend upon the assignment of racial composition
to polling areas. Racial information must be taken from census data and then assigned to polling
areas. The census uses voter tabulation districts, which do not necessarily correspond to polling
areas. The validity of Dr. Handley's analyses depends upon the accuracy with which racial
information taken from census data was assigned to the polling areas. Dr. Handley did not, however,
perform the assignment of racial composition to the polling areas. Instead, that essential step was
performed by one of the attorneys of record for the plaintiffs. Dr. Handley neither performed that
task nor verified that it was performed correctly. Nor did she testify that experts in her particular
field would reasonably rely on lawyers to perform that task.
If there were no reason to doubt the accuracy of the work upon which Dr. Handley relied,
Dr. Handley's testimony might suffice to meet the plaintiffs' burden of proof; but the evidence
established ample reason to doubt the reliability of the data upon which Dr. Handley relied. For
example, on cross-examination Dr. Handley admitted that documents used as input for her analyses
included one polling area with a turnout of3,115, whereas the total voting age population for that
voting area was 992. In another polling area, according to the documents upon which Dr. Handley
relied, the turnout was 287, whereas the total voting age population was 15,644. There was also
evidence that for one of the elections upon which she based her opinion, the votes were reversed for
the two candidates in all of the polling areas in one of the counties in the district. In the face of these
kinds of gross errors, and in the absence of any account as to the accuracy of the work by which
racial compositions were assigned to polling areas, it is impossible to credit Dr. Handley's work with
significant probative value.
Apart from the issue of the reliability of the data upon which Dr. Handley relied, still another
significant issue involves early and absentee ballots in her analyses. The evidence established that
31 percent of the votes cast in the elections analyzed by Dr. Handley were cast by early and absentee
ballots; yet, she did not consider those votes when conducting her analyses. Again, it is difficult to
credit Dr. Handley's opinions when she disregards nearly one-third of the votes cast in the elections
that she analyzed.
There are other issues with Dr. Handley's analyses. In some instances, she stated that white
voters voted as a bloc to defeat the minority-preferred candidate when, in fact, the minority-preferred
candidate prevailed in the relevant counties but lost statewide. For example, Dr. Handley reported
that in the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama was the minority-preferred candidate in the
Delta. She also reported, however, that he received 38.9 percent of the vote, whereas John McCain
received 58.7 percent of the vote. The evidence established, however, that those were statewide
percentages. For the four counties all or part of which form Senate District 24, Barack Obama
received a majority ofthe vote. 14 There were other such examples.
In short, we do not find Dr. Handley's testimony persuasive. 15 In the absence of persuasive
According to Exhibit 4 7, which is the certified results for the 2008 presidential election for
the counties of Crittenden, Lee, Phillips, and St. Francis, Barack Obama received 23,77 4 votes, while
John McCain received 16,118.
The plaintiffs have filed a motion to reopen the record to receive new evidence. The new
evidence is a declaration by Dr. Handley regarding the election conducted after the trial in which
Representative Ingram defeated incumbent Senator Crumbly in Senate District 24. Dr. Handley's
expert testimony, we are left with the results of a hodgepodge of elections of various sorts in the
general vicinity of Senate District 24, along with the lay testimony regarding voting patterns in the
Delta. The lay testimony was more credible than that of Dr. Handley but not sufficiently conclusive
to meet the plaintiffs' burden of proof.
We conclude that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof with respect to the third
of the Gingles preconditions.
Additionally, we disagree with plaintiffs' suggestion that Jeffers I and II are sufficiently
similar to this case to warrant a different result. In Jeffers I, the plaintiffs challenged both House and
Senate districts throughout the State of Arkansas, alleging that more majority-minority districts could
have been drawn. By contrast, the present case involves the Board actually drawing a majorityminority district with a BVAP of over 50 percent. In Jeffers I, the plaintiffs argued that the Board
could have created majority-minority districts but did not; in this case, the plaintiffs are arguing that
the Board should have created a larger BVAP within the majority-minority district. As explained
supra, this does not constitute a viable § 2 vote-dilution claim. The plaintiffs have not cited a case,
nor can we find one, in which a § 2 vote-dilution claim successfully challenged the drawing of a
district with a BVAP greater than 50 percent.
B. Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments
The plaintiffs have also alleged that the Board-specifically, Governor Beebe and Attorney
declaration states that, as with her previous analyses, one of the attorneys of record provided her with
election results along with maps and a spreadsheet, as well as the racial composition of each precinct
using data from the 2010 census. Thus, there is no reason to believe that Dr. Handley's declaration
has cured any of the defects in her trial testimony.
General McDaniel 16-intentionally discriminated against African Americans in violation of the
Equal Protection Clause ofthe Fourteenth Amendment and the Fifteenth Amendment. They contend
that the Board purposely drew the 2011 Senate District 24 to increase voters in the base counties of
white incumbents- Representatives Ingram, Hall, and Brown-while simultaneously reducing
voters in the base county of the African-American incumbent-Senator Crumbly.
"[A] plaintiff bringing a constitutional vote[-]dilution challenge, whether under the
Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendment, has been required to establish that the State or political
subdivision acted with a discriminatory purpose." 17 Reno v. Bossier Parish Sch. Bd., 520 U.S. 471,
481 (1997) ("Reno f') (citing City of Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U.S. 55, 62 (1980) (plurality opinion)
("Our decisions ... have made clear that action by a State that is racially neutral on its face violates
the Fifteenth Amendment only if motivated by a discriminatory purpose."); id. at 66 (" [O]nly ifthere
Secretary Martin moved for a directed verdict on the intentional discrimination count at the
close of the plaintiffs' evidence. The plaintiffs did not object, and we granted the motion.
"It is unclear whether vote dilution claims are cognizable under the Fifteenth Amendment.
In recent decisions, the Supreme Court has emphasized that it has never recognized such a claim."
Backus, 2012 WL 786333, at *13 (citing Reno v. Bossier Parish Sch. Bd., 528 U.S. 320, 334 n.3
(2000) ("Reno If') ("[W]e have never held that vote dilution violates the Fifteenth Amendment.");
Voinovich, 507 U.S. at 159 ("This Court has not decided whether the Fifteenth Amendment applies
to vote-dilution claims; in fact, we never have held any legislative apportionment inconsistent with
the Fifteenth Amendment.")). A circuit split exists "on whether vote-dilution claims are cognizable
under the Fifteenth Amendment." !d. (citing Prejean v. Foster, 227 F.3d 504, 519 (5th Cir. 2000)
("Indeed, the Supreme Court has rejected application of the Fifteenth Amendment to vote dilution
causes of action."); Page v. Bartels, 248 F.3d 175, 193 n.12 (3d Cir. 2001) ("We simply cannot
conclude that the Court's silence and reservation ofthese issues clearly forecloses Plaintiffs' Fifteenth
Amendment claim .... ")). Prior to Reno II, the Eighth Circuit concluded that "[p]laintiffs' claim of
racially discriminatory vote dilution is ... cognizable under the Fifteenth Amendment." Perkins v.
City ofW Helena, Ark., 675 F .2d 201, 205 (8th Cir. 1982). "Even if vote-dilution claims exist under
the Fifteenth Amendment, ... they are essentially congruent with vote-dilution claims under the
Fourteenth Amendment." Backus, 2012 WL 786333, at *13 (citing Washington v. Finlay, 664 F.2d
913, 919 (4th Cir. 1981)). "Both require proof of discriminatory purpose and discriminatory, or
dilutive, effect." !d. (citing Washington, 664 F.2d at 919).
is purposeful discrimination can there be a violation ofthe Equal Protection Clause ofthe Fourteenth
Amendment.");Arlington Heights v. Metro. Housing Dev. Corp., 429 U.S. 252,265 (1977) ("Proof
of racially discriminatory intent or purpose is required to show a violation of the Equal Protection
Clause.")). "Because ... the Constitution requires a showing of intent that§ 2 does not, a violation
of§ 2 is [not] a fortiori a violation of the Constitution." ld. at 482.
Here, even if we concluded that the plaintiffs had a viable claim for vote dilution under§ 2, 18
we would nevertheless conclude that their constitutional vote-dilution claims fail because the record
does not support a finding of intentional race discrimination.
During the redistricting process, Governor Beebe indicated that he considered populations,
communities of interest, geography, history, incumbency, and minority districts in crafting the new
districts. Governor Beebe emphasized that his "goal" was not to "draw [2011 Senate District 24] in
a vacuum" but instead "to try to draw 35 districts." Thus, while he "wanted to maintain a minority
population in it," he could not maintain such population "in a vacuum without regard to how that
affects the other 34 districts." Governor Beebe maintained that he could have drawn Senate District
24 with a greater BVAP if he had "ignored all other factors." As an example, Governor Beebe
explained that Senator Crumbly's proposed map "went into another African-American Senat[or's]
majority black district[, Senate District 25]." According to Governor Beebe, if the Board had used
Senator Crumbly's map, then the Board "would have added more African-American population to
[Senator Crumbly's] district," but it would have also "impacted another [majority-]minority
district"-Senator Stephanie Flowers's district.
[W]e doubt that any plaintiff ... can establish a constitutional vote[-]dilution claim where
his section2 claim has failed." Johnson v. DeSoto Cnty. Bd ofComm'rs, 204 F.3d 1335, 1344 (11th
Governor Beebe emphatically denied drawing Senate District 24 for the benefit of
Representative Ingram, characterizing such allegation as "a 100-percent, absolute falsehood." He
testified that he had no knowledge that Representative Ingram was going to run for the Senate;
instead, his impression was that Representative Ingram was going to run for Secretary of the House.
According to Governor Beebe, neither he nor his staff ever discussed Representative Ingram running
for the Senate.
Like Governor Beebe, Attorney General McDaniel testified that he considered multiple
factors in the redistricting process, including compactness ofthe districts, communities of interest,
ensuring minority-majority districts remained intact, and geographic design. Attorney General
McDaniel, like Governor Beebe, testified that the creation of Senate District 24 included
consideration of increasing the population of Senator Crumbly's district, as well as the impact on
surrounding districts, including Senator Flowers's district. Attorney General McDaniel had discussed
with Senator Flowers Senator Crumbly's "desire to take some of her African-American population
from her district and put it into [Senator Crumbly's district]," but Senator Flowers was "not happy
about that." According to Attorney General McDaniel, when the Senate map was presented to him,
he had no "particularly strong feelings one way or the other about" Senate District 24. He only began
"paying more attention to the [BVAP] in that district" after Senator Crumbly expressed his concern
that the BVAP was not high enough.
Attorney General McDaniel stated that he did not know whether reuniting Crittenden County
in Senate District 24 would benefit Representative Ingram. He denied discussing any of the
redistricting maps with Representative Ingram. Attorney General McDaniel testified that "no one
expected [Representative Ingram] to run for the Senate." Instead, Attorney General McDaniel's
impression was that Representative Ingram would run for Speaker of the House. Attorney General
McDaniel also testified that he reassured Senator Crumbly that "Crittenden County is probably your
best bet for reelection" and that Senator Crumbly need not worry about Hall, Brown, or Ingram.
Although the plaintiffs suggest that the Board reunited Crittenden County to benefit white
incumbents-in particular, Representative Ingram-the preponderance of the record evidence does
not support that conclusion. First, we find credible Governor Beebe's and Attorney General
McDaniel's testimony that they did not engage in intentional discrimination or know that
Representative Ingram, or any other white incumbent, would run for senator against Senator
Crumbly in Senate District 24 at the time that the district map was drawn.
Second, Attorney General McDaniel's testimony states the likely reason that Governor Beebe
and Attorney General McDaniel included all of Crittenden County in Senate District 24 and not, for
example, in Senate District 23. Attorney General McDaniel testified that he acted "a little bit in
deference to the Governor who is from White County." According to Attorney General McDaniel,
Governor Beebe made it clear to Attorney General McDaniel "that he didn't want to see northern
White County lumped in with Crittenden County." He explained that "the Governor felt strongly,
and [Attorney General McDaniel] had no reason to dispute that ... Crittenden County and White
County are completely different regions and populations." When asked how he learned that Governor
Beebe did not want "White County lumped in with Crittenden County," Attorney General McDaniel
[A]t some point I remember being told, [w ]ell, there is a possibility of running some
of Crittenden County across Cross and part of Woodruff and Jackson and White
County, but the Governor is not going to vote for that. He does not want that.
Both Attorney General McDaniel and Governor Beebe "had areas where [they] exercised greater
influence over one another." Attorney General McDaniel explained, "[T]he Governor and his staff
were very deferential to what I wanted to do in Craighead County. Similarly, I regarded what the
Governor wanted to do in his home county, and so I think it is fair to say that he had more influence
over this particular area of the plan."
Third, the record also reveals an additional reason for the resulting Senate map-partisan
politics. Governor Beebe specifically testified that his vote to approve the redistricting map could
be characterized as "a partisan vote." Similarly, Attorney General McDaniel testified that the Board's
vote "was certainly delineated along party lines," although he claimed that he did not "vote with the
Governor because he is a Democrat and I am a Democrat." As to Secretary Martin's final proposed
Senate plan, Governor Beebe candidly admitted that he discarded most of Secretary Martin's
suggestions. Attorney General McDaniel also confirmed that "virtually no" consideration was
given to Secretary Martin's Senate map. Even Senator Crumbly testified that he saw Governor Beebe
and Attorney General McDaniel-not Secretary Martin-" as the big decision-makers on the Board
Secretary Martin's testimony confirms that Governor Beebe and Attorney General McDaniel
gave no consideration to his alternative proposals, including his Senate map. We credit Secretary
Martin's testimony that Governor Beebe's office and Attorney General McDaniel's office "made
perfectly clear that [Secretary Martin's] input was not going to be considered." Secretary Martin
"kn[e]w very little about [the enacted maps] except [that] they showed up slightly before it was time
to vote on them." At the final Board meeting,
[t]here was really no debate about what was on the maps or whether or not to
consider [Secretary Martin's] maps. It was not even brought up. It was just a matter
of this is the way we're going to do it. Here is the motion. We adopt these maps. And
then it was just a matter of disposing with-taking care of the final business of the
state Board of Apportionment.
According to Secretary Martin, he considered the Jeffers cases to be a vital concern in the
redistricting process. Secretary Martin's "guideline" was to ensure that the State "sustain[ed] the
districts that were created in Jeffers." (Emphasis added.) Secretary Martin wanted the Board "to
create a [new Senate] district that approximate[d] the previous Jeffers district." (Emphasis added.)
He wanted to maintain the BVAP "near the Jeffers levels." (Emphasis added.) When asked what
BVAP he would have put in place, Secretary Martin testified that he was "[t]rying to maintain what
the previous Jeffers district had in that ... , it would have been in excess of 55 percent." (Emphasis
added.) "[T]he goal was 57 percent and maintain a good compactness to the district." His central
concern was to avoid litigation.
The record evidence reflects that the new senate district was constructed primarily to conform
to the political priorities of Governor Beebe and, secondarily, Attorney General McDaniel. Governor
Beebe prioritized reuniting Crittenden County, and Attorney General McDaniel deferred to his
preference. Senate District 24's BVAP was on-but well down-the list of their redistricting
concerns. The plaintiffs have failed to show that the diminution in BVAP of the new Senate District
24 is the result of any collusive racial animus of the Board. Instead, the evidence shows that the
diminution more likely was an unintended consequence of preferred political concerns leading to
comparative disregard for the Jeffers cases' history and holdings. This may be regrettable, but it is
The same is true for Governor Beebe's and Attorney General McDaniel's dismissive attitude
toward Senator Crumbly. Senator Crumbly testified that he met several times with Governor Beebe
to discuss redistricting for Senator Crumbly's district-the 2001 Senate District 16. The first two
meetings were cordial, with Senator Crumbly conveying to Governor Beebe his desire to preserve
a high BVAP in his district. At the last meeting, the "discussion ... sometimes got quite heated."
We credit Senator Crumbly's version of events regarding this meeting, which is as follows:
I said, "If my district was drawn first, why did it have to be drawn this particular
way?" And I said, "It was supposed to have been drawn first." And then [Governor
Beebe] ... banged on the table, he said, "It was drawn first." And he said, "Well, I'll
just tell you, I am sick and tired ofyou coming in here with these maps. I've looked
at them." He said, "I can just tell you this. I'm not going to split Crittenden County.
You've asked me. I don't want to look at any more maps. And I wish you wouldn't
come back to my office asking me about that again."
Regarding his relationship with Senator Crumbly, Governor Beebe stated that although
Senator Crumbly "always asked for way more than anybody else asked for," Senator Crumbly's vote
was one that he could count on; "more often than not, [Senator Crumbly] votes in a way that
[Governor Beebe] would consider to be an ally." Governor Beebe lacked any knowledge that Senator
Crumbly was going to have an opponent or that Representative Ingram was going to run for the
Senate. He testified that he never intended to reduce the BVAP of Senator Crumbly's district or
adversely affect Senator Crumbly. He did note that, during meetings with Senator Crumbly, both he
and Senator Crumbly "would get exasperated with each other."
Attorney General McDaniel also testified that he explained to Senator Crumbly his
deferential position to Governor Beebe's desires. After Senator Crumbly voiced his opposition to
Attorney General McDaniel about the map, Attorney General McDaniel responded, "[Y]ou
either try to persuade the Governor to make a change or this is the way this map is going to be and
you need to go run your reelection and you are going to be fine." In response, Senator Crumbly
testified that he urged Attorney General McDaniel "to do the right thing for the people of Arkansas,
not just simply what the Governor says, and do what's right because you are the State's attorney."
Based on the record, we conclude that Governor Beebe's arid Attorney General McDaniel's
feelings toward Senator Crumbly were not the result of racial animus leading to the creation of an
unlawful reapportionment plan but instead reflect political preferences of the majority Board.
"'[T]here is a history of racial discrimination in the electoral process in Arkansas."' Jeffers
I, 730 F. Supp. at 204 (quoting Smith I, 687 F. Supp. at 1317). With that history in mind, we stress
that our determination that no illegal vote dilution or intentional discrimination occurred does not
mean that the plaintiffs did not raise important concerns about the Arkansas redistricting process.
Because the Board acted within the bounds of the law, those concerns are for the voters of Arkansas,
not for the courts of the United States, to address.
We hold that the plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden of proving a violation of§ 2 of
the Voting Rights Act or the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States
DATED this 17th day of September, 2012.
We deny the motion to reopen the case to hear further testimony from Dr. Lisa Handley.
First, the proposed testimony would not alter our conclusion that, under the logic of Bartlett, the
plaintiff must show that the Board of Apportionment could have created a majority/minority district
but failed to do so. Secondly, Dr. Handley's declaration filed with the motion to reopen states that
her proposed new testimony relies on the assignment of racial composition to polling areas by an
attorney of record. Thus, her declaration indicates that she still has not corrected the deficiencies that
led us to conclude that her trial testimony was unpersuasive.
No. 2:12CV00016 JLH
ADDENDUM TO OPINION
No. 2:12-cv-000 16-JLH
ADDENDUM to OPINION -See n.7
HickOPf Ridg e
2011 District 24
2001 District 16
Jeffers v. Beebe, No. 2:12·CV-016 (E.D. Ark.)
Plaintiffs' Exhibit 3
February 20, 201 2
ADDENDUM to OPINION- See n.9
2010 Adopted Senate Distrct 24 Population Summary by County
2010 TOTAL Population Summary by County
Jeffers v. Beebe, No. 2:12-CV 016 (E.O. Ark.)
Plaintiffs' Exhibit 6
... ·.·.·· Jeffets_03
February 22, 2012
M .• ll\
Districts 23 and 24
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