A federal appeals court issued a ruling Monday declaring that only the U.S. government, not private citizens and civil rights groups, can sue under the Voting Rights Act, a decision that would deal a major blow to the anti-discriminatory protections included in the landmark law.
The ruling, issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, said only the U.S. attorney general has the power to introduce legal challenges under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color or language of minority groups.
The ruling reaffirmed a 2022 decision by U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky, who was appointed to the bench by former President Trump. Rudofsky’s ruling last year dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel and Arkansas State Conference NAACP that challenged the state’s new House districts and sought a preliminary injunction to block them.
The appeals court ruling will very likely …