Arkansas wants to stop lawmaker depositions in rights case
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Lawyers for the state of Arkansas say that requiring lawmakers to explain how they addressed an anti-discrimination ordinance would violate principles older than the state and nation.
Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin ruled last month that lawyers for the city of Fayetteville could ask two legislators to explain why they developed a bill that, in effect, would void an ordinance that bars discrimination against people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender communities. Martin also refused to halt the ordinance.
In court papers Monday, the attorney general’s office says Martin eviscerated legislative privilege and asks the court to stop the depositions.
Legislators have said Arkansas governments need a uniform anti-discrimination policy. Act 137, which passed in 2015, says cities and counties cannot extend protections not found in state law.