LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal panel has rejected a state senator's claim that a redistricting panel diluted the black vote in his east Arkansas district when it redrew the boundaries last year.
The three-judge panel on Monday upheld the boundaries for the east Arkansas district currently held by Democratic Sen. Jack Crumbly. The judges rejected a lawsuit by Crumbly and residents in his district who said the Board of Apportionment violated the U.S. Constitution by lowering the number of voting-age blacks.
Crumbly, who is black, lost to state Rep. Keith Ingram, who is white, in the May primary for his Senate seat. No Republican is running in the district.
The board is made up of Gov. Mike Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Secretary of State Mark Martin.
McDaniel released a statement to Today's THV saying:
"We are grateful to the federal court panel for its decision, which demonstrates that Senate District 24 was drawn to meet sound, legal redistricting principles.
"Though population shifts in the Delta required the district to be redrawn, there was never any racial discrimination in the creation of that district or any others.
"I appreciate the efforts of the attorneys in our office who defended this legally drawn map before the panel."
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)