Justice Department Sues Texas Over New Electoral Maps Affecting Representation of Latinos and Blacks | Univision Politics News

The Justice Department sued Texas and its new electoral maps on Monday, ensuring that they harm the voting rights of minority voters such as Hispanics and Blacks.

In question are the electoral maps approved at the end of October amid protests by Democratic legislators, who denounced excessive speed in this process. Republicans, for their part, blamed it on the extraordinary context of the covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Joe Biden government demand, The vast majority of Texas population growth came from Latino, Black, and Asian minorities; But the new electoral maps do not provide these communities with new opportunities to elect their representatives.

Instead, the maps place the Latino and Black communities in districts with a strange layout, such as one in the Dallas area that has been described in the shape of a “sea horse.” This while securing seats for white Republicans, the government claimed.

The Texas legislators, the legal document detailed, violated the Voting Rights Act “Refusing to acknowledge the growing minority constituency in this state.” “While the Texas congressional delegation expanded from 36 to 38 seats, Texas designed those two new seats to have a majority Anglo electorate,” added the Justice Department.

“Texas too intentionally eliminated a Hispanic electoral opportunity in Congressional District 23, a district in West Texas where courts identified violations of the voting rights law in the two previous cycles of redistribution (of electoral maps), “the legal document said.

“This is not the first time that Texas has acted to minimize the voting rights of its minority citizens. Decade after decade, Texas has enacted redistribution plans that violate the Voting Rights Act,” the brief said.

Latinos Must Vote Miles Away With New Election Maps

In addition, the Department of Justice alleged that, in the redistribution of these maps, minority-predominant communities were moved from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area to largely Anglo-Saxon counties. “Some more than hundreds of miles away, putting them in a congressional district where they lack equal electoral opportunities.”

Precisely in the Dallas area, Latino and black voters living in the northeastern suburbs were driven out of the district of Representative Beth Van Duyne, who last year won her re-election by a narrow margin against the black Democratic candidate.

The new election maps, the lawsuit added, also hurt Latinos’ chances of getting their preferred candidates to the state Legislature. This, the document stated, is so in the San Antonio region and in the south of the state. According to the Biden administration, in Districts 118 and 31 the Hispanic vote was replaced with a mostly Anglo one.

“And in El Paso and West Texas, the state eliminated a Latino opportunity entirely by reducing to five, from six, the number of districts in which Hispanics make up a majority of the population of voting age, “he added.

Texas has had to defend its electoral maps in the courts in every redistribution process since the Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965. But these are the new maps to be approved since a Supreme Court ruling said Texas and others States with a history of racial profiling do not have to go through the scrutiny of the Justice Department before giving them the go-ahead.

Information from AP was used in this note.