Statement by Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle on Senate District 10 Federal Lawsuit
“Don’t mistake the voting rights fight underway in Tarrant County as just a parochial fight to save Beverly Powell’s Senate seat. It’s a lot more.
The court battle that centers on Tarrant-based Senate District 10 is a linchpin case that will determine whether the Voting Rights Act itself provides fundamental protection against the open assault Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans have launched against minority voters who had the audacity to organize and mobilize to elect their candidate of choice.
Senator Beverly Powell and six other Tarrant County citizens filed a federal lawsuit in Austin today in the Western District of Texas, challenging one of the most extreme racial gerrymanders in the country. Republican leaders literally ripped Tarrant County-based Senate District 10 in half, splitting apart a proven coalition of minority voters and overwhelming their political voices by stranding them in districts dominated by both rural voters over a hundred miles away and exurban voters hostile to the concerns of voters in Fort Worth and Arlington.
The Senate District 10 suit is particularly important because ten years ago the federal courts blocked a similar effort by Republicans, ruling that dismantling SD-10 was intentionally discriminatory. The damage done to the district now is even worse. If the Courts allow it to stand, then similar districts in Texas and everywhere else in our country could be taken apart to undermine and overwhelm the voting strength of minority voters.
No politician in America is more hostile to fundamental voting rights than Greg Abbott. His career has been a series of discriminatory acts intended to hold onto power by outrageous racial gerrymanders and overt efforts to suppress voter turnout.
Texas media nor anyone else should underplay or misunderstand the importance of the suit filed today by Senator Powell and others. They are battling for voting rights in Tarrant County, in all of Texas, and everywhere in our country.”