Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Republican lawmakers lost a battle in federal court against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) after a measure to redistrict maps was struck down because it violated the Voting Rights Act,writes the Star-Telegram.
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A three-judge panel found in January the GOP-dominated Legislature’s redrawing of district maps was out of compliance with the federal voting rights law.
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Even more telling, the court said the lawmakers had racist intentions after attempting to create boundaries in congressional districts and within Fort Worth’s Senate District 10, helmed by Democrat Senator Wendy Davis.
The Voting Rights Acts charges that voting changes must be cleared by federal court or the Justice Department. In order to obtain the clearance, the state has to prove that measures were taken to not diminish the electoral power of minorities or show discrimination against them.
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The DOJ actually approved of the Texas Senate map, but Sen. Davis argued in court that her district was mapped incorrectly, which would have a deep effect on how the base that got her elected could vote.
“One would expect a state that is as experienced with VRA litigation as Texas to have ensured that its redistricting process was beyond reproach,” wrote Judge Thomas Griffith in a statement. “That Texas did not, and now fails to respond sufficiently to the parties’ evidence of discriminatory intent, compels us to conclude that the Senate Plan was enacted with discriminatory purpose as to SD 10.”
Attorney General Abbott tweeted that he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that the decision, “extends the Voting Rights Act beyond the limits intended by Congress and beyond the boundaries imposed by the Constitution.”
Tell that to the taxpaying and voting citizens of your fine state, Mr. Abbott.