US Department of Justice sues Texas over voter cards, citing discrimination | Politics news

The department says Texas’s plan violates US electoral law by diluting the strength of blacks, Latinos and other minority voters.

The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Texas over the state’s newly drawn congressional and legislative districts. The new plan violates US election laws by discriminating against minority voters.

The lawsuit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas argues that the Texas Congressional and Legislative District maps violate an important provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The lawsuit finds that the vast majority of Texas population growth over the past decade has come from black, Latin American, and Asian residents, but the new maps drawn by the state Republicans do not give any of those communities new opportunities to admit their own representatives Select.

Instead, the cards pack black and Latino communities into bizarrely shaped districts – an area in the Dallas area is known as the “seahorses” – while maintaining safe seats for white Republicans.

The Texas reallocation plans “deny or restrict the suffrage of Latinos and black voters because of their race, color or linguistic minority group,” said US Attorney General Merrick Garland during a press conference in Washington, DC, and dismissed the lawsuit.

Protesters protested in September when Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed a law tightening Texas’s strict electoral laws [File: LM Otero/AP Photo]

The case is the first legal measure to challenge a state’s cards by President Joe Biden‘s administration during this redistribution cycle.

It comes amid a wave of litigation over incursions by Republican-controlled state lawmakers to restrict voting after the 2020 presidential election. These efforts were fueled by ex-President Donald Trump‘s false claims that widespread fraud had affected the vote last year.

The Brennan Center for Justice, a New York University research center that documents voting rights legislation in the United States, reported that at least 19 states passed 33 laws making it difficult for Americans between January 1 and September 27 this year to to vote.

In June, the Justice Department sued the state of Georgia over restrictive new electoral law, and in November filed another lawsuit against Texas over new federal law that, among other things, restricts postal voting.

“This is not the first time Texas has tried to restrict the voting rights of its minority citizens,” said Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta during the press conference on Monday. “For decades after decade, courts have found Texas enacted redistribution plans that deliberately dilute the voting power of Latinos and black voters and violate the voting rights law.”

In one tweet, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton condemned the Justice Department’s lawsuit as “absurd” interference by the Biden administration.

“The Department of Justice’s absurd lawsuit against our state is the Biden administration‘s latest ploy to control Texas voters,” said Paxton. “I am confident that the redistribution decisions of our legislature will prove to be legitimate and that this absurd attempt to influence democracy will fail.”

Section 2 of the US Suffrage Act prohibits state cartographers from diluting minority power by dividing it into different districts.

A 2013 US Supreme Court ruling cored a provision in the Voting Rights Act that required Texas and other states with a history of racial discrimination to have the Justice Department approve cards before they go into effect.

“I want to urge Congress again to restore preclearance authority to the Department of Justice. If that were still there, I probably wouldn’t be here today to announce this complaint, ”Garland said.

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