In many are likely to see as a partisan move, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Texas’ GOP-led redistricting plan.
At a press conference announcing the lawsuit, Garland accused the plan of violating the Voting Rights Act and “deny or abridge the rights of Latino and Black voters to vote on account of their race, color or membership in a language minority group.”
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta spoke after Garland and said that 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.
Gupta insisted, “Our investigation determined that Texas’ redistricting plans will dilute the increased minority voting strength that should have developed from these significant demographic shifts.”
Texas GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton responded in a statement and declared, “The Department of Justice’s absurd lawsuit against our state is the Biden Administration’s latest ploy to control Texas voters.”
“I am confident that our legislature’s redistricting decisions will be proven lawful, and this preposterous attempt to sway democracy will fail,” Paxton responded.
The Department of Justice's absurd lawsuit against our state is the Biden Administration's latest ploy to control Texas voters. I am confident that our legislature's redistricting decisions will be proven lawful, and this preposterous attempt to sway democracy will fail.— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) December 6, 2021
According to Politico’s Ally Mutnick, the suit alleges GOP mapmakers eliminated a Latino opportunity district in the redraw of #TX23 (Tony Gonzales’ West Texas seat), did not draw a new Latino opportunity seat in Houston’s Harris County, and “surgically excised minority communities” from Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex area.
The suit alleges GOP mapmakers:— Ally Mutnick (@allymutnick) December 6, 2021
>> eliminated a Latino opportunity district in the redraw of #TX23 (Tony Gonzales' West Texas seat)
>> did not draw a new Latino opportunity seat in Houston's Harris County
>> "surgically excised minority communities" from DFW Metroplex area https://t.co/gUzLw2NVny
As Garland noted at the press conference, it is the second potentially partisan lawsuit the Justice Department has filed against Texas.
Last month, the DOJ alleged in a lawsuit that Texas’ new voting law, S.B. 1, made it harder to assist voters with disabilities or without English proficiency.
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