Challenge To Texas GOP Voter Suppression Upheld By Judge

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On Friday, the voting rights organization Democracy Docket shared that a Texas judge had rejected a request from officials in the state including Republican Governor Greg Abbott to dismiss a legal challenge to the state’s redistricting plans. Therefore, the case is moving forward. That case also challenges the district lines that were in place before the data from the most recent census emerged, apparently seeking to close off the opportunity of falling back on those earlier lines as an out. Among other issues, Texas GOP authorities passed two new U.S. House districts for the state that have white majorities, despite the fact that most of the population growth in Texas that granted it those districts was tied to non-white residents.

The particular case that’s now been upheld was filed on behalf of a coalition called the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, which includes the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, Mi Familia Vota, and other interests. It was consolidated with half a dozen similar cases that brought challenges to various elements of the state’s redistricting process, with this particular case left as the lead in the proceedings.

As explained by Democracy Docket, this case (as of the time of its original filing) alleged “that 1) the state’s current congressional, legislative and board of education maps based on 2010 census data are unconstitutionally malapportioned in violation of the 14th Amendment and should be blocked from use in future elections and 2) the state’s current plans for new congressional, legislative and board of education maps based on 2020 census data intentionally dilute the voting strength of Latinx communities in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.” Texas has since approved its new lines.

The issues are similar to those that have cropped up elsewhere as Republicans have muddled the redistricting process with apparent political ambitions. In Ohio, for instance, Republicans seem set to control 80 percent of the state’s U.S. House seats, although Trump won there with a much smaller margin last year, suggesting that the district map simply does not accurately capture the political distribution of the population.