Texas sued as GOP closes in on passing redrawn US House maps

Minority rights groups are suing Texas over proposed new voting maps that they say thwart the political strength of the state's booming Latino population

Via AP news wire
Monday 18 October 2021 22:47
Redistricting-Texas
Redistricting-Texas

Taking Texas to court again over voting laws, civil rights groups sued Monday over redrawn U.S. House districts that they allege thwart the political strength of a booming Latino population that is driving the state's explosive growth.

The federal lawsuit was filed even as Republican lawmakers were still rushing to put final touches on new voting boundaries in Texas, the big winner of the 2020 census — the only state awarded two new seats in Congress

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign off on the changes, which must reach his desk by Tuesday.

The maps that overhaul how Texas' nearly 30 million residents are sorted into political districts — and who is elected to represent them — bookends a highly charged year in the state over voting rights. Democratic lawmakers twice walked out on an elections bill that tightened the state's already strict voting rules, which they called a brazen attempt to disenfranchise minorities and other Democratic-leaning voters.

“Texas is using all the means at its disposal to prevent the inevitable change in the Texas electorate,” said Nina Perales, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Her organization filed the lawsuit along with several other minority rights groups in federal court in Texas. It alleges that Republican mapmakers diluted the political strength of minority voters by not drawing any new districts where Latino residents hold a majority, despite Latinos making up half of Texas' 4 million new residents over the last decade.

A spokesperson for Abbott, who is named in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Republicans have said they followed the law in defending the maps, which protect their slipping grip on Texas by pulling more GOP-leaning voters into suburban districts where Democrats have made inroads in recent years.

Texas has been routinely dragged into court for decades over voting maps, and in 2017, a federal court found that a Republican-drawn map was drawn to intentionally discriminate against minority voters. But two years later, that same court said there was insufficient reason to take the extraordinary step of putting Texas back under federal supervision before changing voting laws or maps.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in