Justice Department rejects Texas redistricting maps

Posted on in In the News

“With so many communities of interest across our State divided by crooked Republican redistricting, it is welcome that the Department of Justice recognized the congressional map as illegal” – Congressman Lloyd Doggett

Published: San Antonio News Express

By: Nolan Hicks

The U.S. Justice Department rejected an effort by the Texas Attorney General’s Office to seek informal approval for the state’s redrawn Texas House and U.S. Congressional districts, while granting approval to changes made to the district maps for the Texas Senate and State Board of Education.

The court filing from the Justice Department on Monday virtually assures that the state’s lawsuit, which asks the District of Columbia district court to certify that the controversial Texas redistricting maps don’t reduce opportunity for minority representation, will go forward.

The three judge federal panel that will hear the lawsuit in Washington is expected to set a trial date on Wednesday.

“Defendants [The Justice Department] deny that the proposed House plan, as compared with the [last redistricting map], maintains or increases the ability of minority voters to election their candidate of choice in each district protected by Section 5,” the Justice Department’s lawyers wrote in rejecting the changes to the Texas House map. “[The Justice Department denies] that the proposed House plan complies with … the Voting Rights Act”

Preserving the ability of minority voters to elect their candidates of choice from protected districts is a key component of complying with the Civil Rights-era act.

The lawyers used the same language in rejecting the changes to the congressional map.

The Justice Department will release a series of proposed changes to the map later today or Tuesday.