Court strikes down Texas redistricting maps citing discrimination
Interim maps will be drawn by a federal court instead.
By EMILY DERUY
A federal court ruled on Tuesday that Texas’ redistricting maps are illegal. A three-judge panel rejected the Texas congressional, state house, and state senate districts created by the state legislature.
Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (D-Tex.) released a statement in favor of the ruling.
“In a representative democracy such as ours, the Republican-dominated Texas legislature’s failure to respect this bedrock principal is deplorable,” he said. “I hope that everyone involved will read today’s opinion carefully and work to propose maps that reflect the rights of all of our citizens.”
The maps were initially enacted in 2011, but were blocked by the Obama administration and rejected by the court for violating part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The court said that the redistricting discriminated against black and Hispanic voters. The new districts were set to take effect on Nov. 6. Now the election will use maps drawn by a federal court instead.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott supported the redistricting efforts and vowed in a statement to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The state is also in court over its voter identification law, which requires voters to present photo identification when they cast a ballot. That legislation was also blocked by the Obama administration for discrimination.