The Arkansas Supreme Court issued a terse ruling Monday that rejected an attempt from Driving Arkansas Forward to sue Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over her repeated rejection of a ballot measure pushed by the group.
Driving Arkansas Forward seeks the creation of two casinos in the state — one in Jefferson County, one in Pope County — and the enhancement of gaming at the Oaklawn and Southland racetracks for the sake of funding state highways. The group is represented by law firm Steel, Wright, Gray & Hutchinson.
After Rutledge rejected the group’s fourth draft of a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed before voters, Driving Arkansas Forward submitted a petition to the Supreme Court requesting an injunction compelling the AG’s office to approve the proposed measure. The petition states the group “specifically addressed all concerns raised by the Attorney General” with each resubmission to the AG. The group also requested an expedited consideration of its petition and an accelerated briefing schedule.
In a response filed Friday, the attorney general’s office said its rejection of the measure was warranted. The court appeared to fully agree. Its order today reads, in full:
PETITIONER’S MOTION FOR EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION OF PETITION AND FOR ACCELERATED BRIEFING SCHEDULE.
MOTION FOR EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION OF PETITION IS GRANTED. PETITION DENIED. MOTION FOR ACCELERATED BRIEFING SCHEDULE AND FOR EMERGENCY HEARING IS MOOT.
A second group, Arkansas Wins in 2018, is also seeking a ballot measure that would authorize casinos in Arkansas. So far, it’s also been rejected by the AG’s office.