Civil rights groups are suing over Texas' redrawn redistricting maps for the U.S. House, accusing Republicans of using the process to discriminate against Latinos and to dilute their vote in upcoming elections.
"Despite having only recently been found liable by a federal court for intentional racial discrimination in redistricting, Texas has once again adopted plans that dilute Latino voting strength," Nina Perales, the vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, (MALDEF) said in a statement, reports The Texas Tribune. "The new redistricting plans are an unlawful attempt to thwart the changing Texas electorate and should be struck down."
MALDEF, which successfully challenged the state on its maps from 10 years ago, is representing the plaintiffs, LULAC, La Unión del Pueblo Entero, and the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.
Texas gained 4 million new residents since 2010, of which 95% were people of color. Half of those were Hispanic people, but the proposed House map drops the number of districts from 33 down to 30 in locations where the Hispanic vote makes up the majority of eligible voters, and the congressional map reduces districts that have a Hispanic voting majority from eight to seven.
Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican named as the lawsuit's lead defendant, is expected to sign the maps into law after state lawmakers approved it Monday night.
For decades, lawsuits against redistricting have been filed in Texas on claims that lawmakers have discriminated against voters of color and tried to dilute their votes through the maps.
The current lawsuit claims that the legislature would not create additional districts in locations where Hispanic voters are in the majority. The Republicans, who control the state's redistricting, had reconfigured the map to include two more U.S. House seats, the most gained in any state, but did not carve out the extra districts.
The lawsuit also claims the new district boundaries weaken the strength of the Latino voters by packing them based on race into certain districts so their vote won't have a more broad influence statewide.
The lawsuit asks the court to block the state from holding elections that use the challenged maps, so it could end up delaying the 2022 primary election calendar.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.