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Arnold & Porter Prevails in Voting Rights Victory in Kansas

April 27, 2022

Arnold & Porter helped achieve another significant voting rights victory in Kansas, where a judge struck down the state’s politically and racially gerrymandered congressional map. The 209-page ruling leaned on the Kansas Bill of Rights as grounds to strike down the Republican-drawn map. The decision will now be reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court.

“We are pleased the court recognized that the map was a naked power grab that diluted the political power of Kansas’ Black, Latino, and Democratic voters,” said John Freedman, Arnold & Porter’s senior pro bono counsel. “We are pleased that the court directed the Kansas legislature to comply with the Kansas Constitution and pass a map fair to all voters.”

In February, three separate lawsuits were filed challenging the congressional map passed by the Kansas Legislature. One suit was filed by the ACLU of Kansas, the Campaign Legal Center, and Arnold & Porter. The other suits were filed by The Elias Group and former US Attorney Barry Grissom, and by former US Attorney and Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister and attorneys from Dentons.

The cases centered on arguments that Kansas lawmakers produced politically and racially gerrymandered voting maps that violate the Kansas Constitution. The new boundaries would dilute ballots cast by voters in the counties of Wyandotte and Lawrence.

Arnold & Porter’s victory in Kansas is the latest in a string voting rights wins achieved by the firm. On March 31, Chief US District Judge Mark Walker issued a decision striking down key provisions of Florida SB 90, a restrictive voting law passed by the Republican-majority state legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis. On March 8, the US Supreme Court refused to stay the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision striking down the state’s gerrymandered congressional map under the state constitution.

The Arnold & Porter team included partners Stanton Jones and Elisabeth Theodore, and senior pro bono counsel John Freedman.