Court again finds intentional voter discrimination in Texas

Isaac Cain
April 21, 2017

A federal court on Thursday has upheld a previous finding that Texas House map from 2011 was intentionally drawn to dilute minority voting, according to reports. The decision-issued in a 171-page ruling-becomes the latest in a string of judicial defeats for Texas Republicans, who in March saw a similar decision from the same panel of judges.

"We respectfully disagree with the redistricting panel's 2-1 decision", Paxton wrote in his prepared statement. "It took almost six years of legislative and court battles to confirm that the party in power discriminated against communities of color when drawing Texas Congressional and House of Representative maps". Go figure those districts just happen to encompass some of Texas' urban, left-leaning counties like Bexar, Harris, El Paso and Nieces. He noted the 2011 redistricting Texas House maps were superseded by new maps in 2013, referencing a remark by the dissenting judge in the case referencing that.

"The impact of the plan was certainly to reduce minority voting opportunity statewide, resulting in even less proportional representation for minority voters", U.S. District Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriguez said in their opinion. By contrast, it found legislators protected anglo districts with slower population growth.

Republicans packed Latinos in western Dallas County into Districts 103 and 104 to protect District 105 state Representative Rodney Anderson, the court determined. Smith, for one, seems certain the case is headed for yet another appeal, ending his dissent with the words "Stay tuned".

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Republicans redrew Texas House districts in 2011 to gain partisan advantage by intentionally and improperly diluting the voting strength of minority Texans, a federal court ruled Thursday.

The judges did not order any immediate changes to the maps, so it's unclear how - or if - the rulings will affect elections in 2018.

"As 5th Circuit Judge Jerry Smith observed in his dissent, the challenge to the old 2011 maps are not only moot but 'a finding that racial considerations were dominant and controlling defies everything about this record, '" he said. "Accordingly, we are confident we will ultimately prevail in this case".

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