DOJ: Texas Redistricting Discriminatory

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Court papers filed by the Department of Justice late Friday afternoon accuse the Texas redistricting plan signed by Governor Rick Perry of being drawn in a way that minimizes the impact of the minority vote. According to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, certain covered jurisdictions with a history of discrimination in voting—including Texas—must submit changes in election law to the Justice Department for “preclearance.”

Referring to Texas’ congressional redistricting plan, the filling states that while “The United States has not yet determined whether the proposed plan has any purpose or purposes that are prohibited by Section 5,” that “it appears that the proposed plan may have a prohibited purpose in that it was adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to Congress.” The crux of the Department of Justice’s argument is that, deliberately or not, two districts in Texas, 23 and 27, have been altered so as to reduce the influence of Latino voters in those districts. Since the Voting Rights Act prohibits changes that would have the “purpose or effect” of discriminating against minorities, DoJ is saying the plan violates Section 5.

As for whether or not this impact was by design, DoJ says they aren’t ruling it out, but that the “investigation is on-going.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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