Lawsuit To Stop GOP’s Racially Gerrymandered Map Announced

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Yet another lawsuit has been filed challenging the GOP-led redistricting process in Texas, where — predictably — Republican state leaders have set legislative district lines in motion that favor their side while leaving marginalized communities with only more of an apparent struggle in certain situations to substantively impact election outcomes.

Around the state as a whole, Republican officials enacted Congressional lines that hand two new U.S. House districts to white majorities, despite the fact that non-white voters are responsible for the overwhelming majority of the population growth that meant Texas obtained those districts at all. State leaders also decreased the number of U.S. House districts with a Hispanic majority by one, and they took the same move against the state’s Black residents — leaving Texas set to have zero U.S. House districts with a Black majority, although Black residents comprise just about 13 percent of the state’s population.

This new lawsuit, which was filed by Texas state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D), targets the drawing of the state’s 35th Congressional District. As the lawsuit puts it, the new map allegedly “does not afford the plaintiff and other Latino voters in central Texas an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.” This situation, the case says, violates the 14th Amendment because of the discrimination against voters of a certain racial and national background. Overall, the case also “alleges that Texas’ new congressional map violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it dilutes minority voting strength, specifically that of Latino voters, across the state,” as the voting rights organization Democracy Docket explains.

These are serious problems. If a given community is pushed out of the majority in as many districts as possible — no matter their overall numbers, then that community would suddenly find it more difficult to see the election of representatives that connect to their interests. It’s an issue that has repeatedly emerged in states where Republicans have led the redistricting process. In Alabama, the state enacted U.S. House district lines putting Black residents in the majority in just one district out of seven, even though they make up over one-fourth of the state’s overall population. In Ohio, state authorities put certain suburbs of the city of Cincinnati in another Congressional district from the city itself — and predictably, that other district is largely white (and Republican), in contrast to the sizable Black population in those suburbs.