Lawsuit Claims New Texas Congress Map ‘Clearly Dilutes’ Voters of Color Power

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The lawsuit says Republicans have passed an “absurd” congressional card that gives more power to white voters.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday enacted a new congressional map that will keep Republicans in a large majority of the state’s congressional delegation for the next decade, a move accomplished by diluting the power of voters of color – even though the vast majority of Texas’ population growth in the state came from minority groups.

Immediately after Abbott enacted the card, Voto Latino, a group that works to encourage the Latino community to vote, sued the state, arguing that “the new districts violate section 2 of the voting rights by diluting the voting power of communities of color, particularly Latinx and Black communities. “

“This card clearly dilutes the voting power of communities of color in violation of federal law, and my team will fight to ensure that a new card that adequately represents minority populations in the state and enables Latin voters and black people to elect the candidates of their choice is up for the next elections, “said Marc Elias, lawyer for Voto Latino, in an e-mail.

(Disclosure: The Voto Latino Foundation has previously helped fund the American Independent.)

According to the lawsuit, 95% of Texas’ population growth, as a result of which the state won two House seats in the decennial census-based congressional redistribution process, was among Texans of color.

But, according to the lawsuit, the new map “in fact reduces the number of districts in which communities of color in Texas have a reasonable opportunity to elect their preferred candidates, and it increases the number of districts in which a majority of residents in Texas. voting age are white. “

According to FiveThirtyEight analysis, after the redistribution, Republicans will safely control 24 of the state’s 38 congressional districts. That’s 63% of the seats, even though former President Donald Trump won the state with 52% of the vote in 2020.

Only one of the state’s seats will be competitive: the Democrat-owned 15th district in the San Antonio area.

This is a drop from the five highly competitive seats according to the state’s previous map.

FiveThirtyEight says the new card is “even more advantageous for the GOP than the current congressional state card,” which already heavily favored Republicans.

Elias noted in his email: “Texas has a long history of intentional discrimination against its voters of color, including during the redistribution process. Constitution of the United States – and I expect this time to be no different. “

The office of newly appointed Texas Secretary of State John Scott, the lead defendant in the Voto Latino trial, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the trial and whether he thinks he discriminates against voters in color as claimed.

Texas Republicans aren’t the only ones seeking to push through extreme gerrymanders, manipulated districts that favor one party over another, regardless of the state’s overall partisan distribution.

For example, Republicans in North Carolina on Monday proposed a card that would give the GOP an 11-3 majority in the state’s congressional delegation, even though Trump won the state only by one point in 2020.

Elias, the lawyer representing the plaintiff in the lawsuit concerning the new map of Texas, sworn to continue North Carolina if this card is passed.

Experts say Republicans could win back a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives just on the basis of a redistribution with cards redrawn in their favor. They only need five seats to do so.

Republicans could possibly win enough seats from the 2021 redistribution *alone* to erase the thin house of Dems majority ”, expert in redistribution Dave Wasserman tweeted in january.

Published with permission from the American Independent Foundation.



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