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Lone Star Project Report

Federal Court rules Texas GOP redistricting plans discriminatory

Republican leaders violated US Voting Rights Act in Congressional, State Senate and State House maps

Statement by Matt Angle, Lone Star Project Director:

  • "The Court’s decision is a damning indictment of Rick Perry and other Texas Republican leaders who, in a cynical attempt to hold on to power, engaged in intentional discrimination against Texas Latino and African American voters."
  • "Every fair-minded Texan familiar with the details of redistricting knew Republican leaders were violating the law."
  • "Greg Abbott and Texas Republican will stop at nothing to hold power – even if it means spending millions in Texans' hard-earned tax dollars to defend illegal discriminatory redistricting plans. I’m sure he’s burning up more tax dollars as we speak."

After months of deliberation, a three-judge Federal District Court panel in Washington, DC has ruled that the redistricting maps adopted by the Texas Legislature last year violate the US Voting Rights Act. The Court determined that Texas Republican leaders enacted maps that reduced the opportunity for minority voters in Texas to elect their candidates of choice AND the Court ruled that the Legislature used a process that was intentionally discriminatory in adopting the Congressional and State Senate maps.

A copy of the Court’s decision can be seen here.

The election in November will proceed as scheduled under the court-drawn interim maps ordered earlier this year. However, the DC Court’s ruling means that the maps passed by the Legislature in 2011 cannot be used for any election going forward. The current court-drawn interim Congressional, State Senate and State House maps will serve as the benchmark for determining minority voter opportunity. In effect, if the Legislature chooses to redraw the three maps next year, they cannot revert to their previously enacted maps but must start over using the court-drawn interim maps as a baseline.

The Lone Star Project provided technical and legal assistance to key intervenors in the Congressional and State Senate cases, who were led by Congressional District 33 Democratic nominee Marc Veasey and State Senator Wendy Davis. The Court’s decision is a major victory for Texas minority voters, intervenor groups and for important advocacy groups like the national NAACP and national LULAC.