Ballot Measure Seeks to Allow Arkansans to Once Again Sue the State


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A ballot measure filed with Attorney General Leslie Rutledge seeks to once again allow Arkansans to sue the state. 

The Committee to Restore Arkansans’ Rights had Little Rock attorney Alex Gray file the ballot measure on Tuesday. 

Last week, the state Supreme Court ruled the Arkansas Constitution doesn’t allow residents to sue the state. This was based on article five, section 20 of the Arkansas Constitution, which states, “The State of Arkansas shall never be made defendant in any of her courts.” 

Because of this ruling, residents can no longer sue the Arkansas government in state court. 

The ballot measure Gray filed seeks to amend the state Constitution and allow the Legislature to create laws that waive the state’s sovereign immunity. This would allow residents to once again bring lawsuits against Arkansas in state court. 

Rutledge has 10 business days to approve or deny the ballot measure. If she approves it, the Committee to Restore Arkansan’s Rights will have four months to collect around 84,000 signatures. 

Then, they’ll have to submit those signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. If enough signatures are validated, the measure would go before voters in November. 

Read more about the Arkansas Supreme Court’s ruling here

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