Federal Court Declares Texas 2011 Congressional Redistricting Plan Illegal


Federal Court Declares Texas 2011 Congressional Redistricting Plan Illegal

"Texas redistricting in 2011 was essentially about politics, not race".

"The Court finds that this evidence persuasively demonstrates that mapdrawers intentionally packed and cracked on the basis of race. with the intent to dilute minority voting strength", Judges Xavier Rodriguez and Orlando Garcia wrote.

"The rushed and secretive process suggests that defendants did want to avoid scrutiny of whether their efforts in fact complied with the [Voting Rights Act] or were meant to do so, or whether they were only creating a facade of compliance", the order by U.S. District Judges Xavier Rodriguez and Orlando Garcia said. If they don't, it's likely all three districts will be redrawn before the 2020 census dictates the usual round of redistricting.

A federal panel ruled Friday that three of Texas's Congressional districts, including the 35th, shown here, were illegally drawn by the state's Republicans.

The ruling held that Texas Republicans violated the Voting Rights act by making the borders either concentrate a lot of Latino voters in one area or split one community among two districts. Currently, two of those districts are represented by Republicans, while the other is represented by a Democrat.

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Garcia and Rodriguez, who were appointed by President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, respectively, explicitly stated that districts were drawn to "minimize Hispanic electoral opportunity".

Texas Republicans did not immediately react to the ruling.

Perales explains that not only does the court's decision lay the groundwork for changes to the state's current redistricting plan, but it may also be a step toward Texas being ordered back under federal supervision of its elections, as a remedy for intentional discrimination in its redistricting plan. The court concluded that in the southwestern 23rd Congressional district [Govtrack backgrounder] alone, boundary lines were drawn to move more than 600,000 voters between districts, thereby fracturing a heavily Latino county to deliberately lessen minority voter turnout rates.

The ghost of the Voting Rights Act-and the ghosts of the people who were murdered to make it possible-remains unquiet despite the best efforts of John Roberts to declare the Day of Jubilee, and despite the best efforts of officials in places like, say, Texas to celebrate the Day of Jubilee with toasts to the good health of Mr. James Crow, Esq. "And the DoJ lawyers saw themselves as an expeditionary landing party arriving here, just in time, to rescue the state from oppression, obviously presuming that plaintiffs' counsel were not up to the task".

Whether or not Texas appeals to the Supreme Court, time is already running short.



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