U.S. sues Texas, says discriminatory redistricting dilutes Black, Hispanic vote By Reuters

U.S. sues Texas, says discriminatory redistricting dilutes Black, Hispanic vote By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The seal of the United States Department of Justice is seen on the constructing exterior of the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Phot

By Sarah N. Lynch and Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Justice Department sued Texas on Monday alleging the state violated the Voting Rights Act by creating redistricting plans that deliberately discriminate in opposition to Black and minority voters by minimizing their voting power.

“The complaint we filed today alleges that Texas has violated section two by creating redistricting plans that deny or abridge the rights of Latino and Black voters to vote on account of their race, color or membership in a language minority group,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland advised reporters at a information convention.

In its grievance filed within the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the Justice Department stated the 2020 Census confirmed that Latinos are on monitor to change into the state’s largest inhabitants group, and that non-white Latino voters account for lower than 40% of the state’s inhabitants.

“Soon after the release of 2020 Census data, the Texas Legislature enacted redistricting plans for the Texas Congressional delegation and the Texas House through an extraordinarily rapid and opaque legislative process,” the grievance says.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Twitter (NYSE:) defended the state’s actions, saying, “The Department of Justice’s absurd lawsuit against our state is the Biden Administration’s latest ploy to control Texas voters.”

The lawsuit is the primary filed by the Justice Department throughout President Joe Biden’s administration taking goal at redistricting https://www.reuters.com/world/us/redistricting-gets-under-way-democrats-prospects-looking-brighter-2021-10-02, the once-a-decade course of that state legislatures use to redraw congressional districts.

Texas will acquire two seats within the U.S. House of Representatives after subsequent yr’s election as a consequence of inhabitants development, probably the most of any state this cycle.

TEXAS VOTER LAWS

This is the Justice Department’s second lawsuit in opposition to Texas this yr over voting rights.

It in early November sued Texas https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-doj-files-lawsuit-against-texas-over-voting-curbs-law-2021-11-04 over a brand new regulation that curbs mail-in voting, alleging it improperly restricts disabled voters or voters who can’t learn or write from having the ability to obtain ample help at voting places.

That lawsuit challenged a regulation making it harder to forged ballots by means of the mail by stopping officers from sending unsolicited mail-in poll functions. It additionally provides new identification necessities for mail-in voting, prohibits drive-through and 24-hour voting places, limits early voting and restricts who will help voters requiring help due to disabilities or language boundaries.

Earlier this yr, the division sued Georgia https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/us-sue-georgia-over-restrictive-new-state-voting-law-source-2021-06-25 after it enacted a brand new election regulation that the Justice Department stated infringes on the rights of Black voters.

The two states are amongst a rising variety of Republican-led U.S. states passing new legal guidelines proscribing voting entry amid former President Donald Trump’s continued false claims that his election defeat was the results of widespread fraud.

The Justice Department’s authority over redistricting points has been weakened in recent times, after the conservative-majority Supreme Court in 2013 gutted a key part of the Voting Rights Act that required states to get pre-clearance from the Justice Department earlier than re-drawing their districts.

Garland advised reporters that whereas the division now not has the facility to look at re-districting earlier than it goes into impact, it might probably nonetheless consider it for discriminatory impacts afterwards.

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