Federal judges have discovered more flaws with voting rights laws in Texas. According to the Associated Press, on Friday, a three-judge panel in San Antonio ruled that Republicans in the state racially gerrymandered congressional districts in efforts to limit the voting power of minorities.
From the Associated Press:
The ruling late Friday by a three-judge panel in San Antonio gave Democrats hope of new, more favorably drawn maps that could turn over more seats in Congress in 2018. But the judges in their 2-1 decision didn’t propose an immediate fix, and Texas could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Republicans hold two of three congressional districts ruled newly invalid and were found to have been partly drawn with discriminatory intent. The GOP-controlled Texas Legislature approved the maps in 2011, the same year then-Gov. Rick Perry signed a voter ID law that ranks among the toughest in the U.S. Courts have since weakened that law, too.
Judges noted the “strong racial tension and heated debate about Latinos, Spanish-speaking people, undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities” that served as the backdrop in the Legislature to Texas adopting the maps and the voter ID law. Those tensions are flaring again over President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration, and Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is also demanding tough crackdowns on so-called sanctuary cities.
During former President Barack Obama’s time in office, the U.S. Justice Department made the effort to address issues surrounding electoral maps and Voter ID laws in Texas, reports the outlet. That quickly changed when President Donald Trump’s administration decided that Texas would no longer be accused of racially discriminatory voting practices.
SOURCE: Associated Press