The Justice Department is suing Texas to prevent the state from implementing a redistricting plan designed to disenfranchise non-white voters, NBC News reports.
Like most other states, Texas’ legislature is redrawing its legislative districts in the wake of the 2020 census, which showed that the state’s population grew in the decade since the prior tally. Since Texas’ legislature is controlled by Republicans, the new map was drawn in a way that would solidify red districts. But the federal lawsuit says the map is nothing more than the latest in a history of attempts to suppress Black and Hispanic voting and representation in a state that’s only getting more diverse.
From NBC News
The maps were drawn with discriminatory intent in some places, in a rushed process and with an “overall disregard” for the fact that Texas’ population growth has been driven almost entirely by Black and Hispanic residents, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said, speaking after Garland. The suit asks the court to stop the state from using the new maps.
“Our investigation determined that Texas’ redistricting plans will dilute the increased minority voting strength that should have developed from these significant demographic shifts,” Gupta said.
Texas was allocated two more congressional seats after the 2020 census, but it did not draw a single new district with a majority of Black or Hispanic voters. The two new seats have white voting majorities, Gupta said.
Texas is among 19 states where Republican elected officials are still pushing the Big Lie of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and using it to justify new voter suppression laws. The Justice Department sued Texas last month over its voter suppression law. Georgia’s new voting law curtailed early voting hours, put in new voter ID requirements and limited the number of absentee ballot drop box locations.
Meanwhile, the Democrat-controlled congress still hasn’t delivered on 2020 election promises for stronger voting rights protections.