USA POLITICS: Texas Lawmakers Illegally Drew Three Voting Districts on Racial Lines: Court Rules

Politicoscope
By Politicoscope March 12, 2017 02:00

Related Coverage You May Like


Current Political Article Highlights


U.S. Court District Judges Xavier Rodriguez and Orlando Garcia in San Antonio found that the districts’ shapes diluted minority voters’ power.

Continue below with the full current political topic.

USA POLITICS: Texas Lawmakers Illegally Drew Three Voting Districts on Racial Lines: Court Rules

Texas lawmakers drew up three U.S. congressional districts to undermine the influence of Hispanic voters, a divided panel of three federal judges ruled, in the latest development in a years-long battle over gerrymandering.

In the decision announced late on Friday, U.S. District Judges Xavier Rodriguez and Orlando Garcia in San Antonio found that the districts’ shapes diluted minority voters’ power, either by splitting communities into different districts or concentrating minorities in a single area to limit their sway.

“When done to minimize Hispanic electoral opportunity, it bears the mark of intentional discrimination,” wrote Rodriguez and Garcia, who were appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush and former Democratic President Bill Clinton, respectively.

The third judge on the panel, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith, dissented.

It was not clear whether Texas would appeal the ruling. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton did not immediately comment on Saturday.

The three districts found unlawful are currently represented by two Republicans and one Democrat.

Legal battles over Texas redistricting have raged since 2003, when the Republican-controlled legislature took the unusual step of throwing out the 2001 maps and redrew the districts. Typically, redistricting occurs once every 10 years after the U.S. census.

In the decision, the majority wrote that in redrawing the southwestern 23rd Congressional district, for example, map makers moved 600,000 voters between districts and fractured a heavily Latino county in a deliberate effort to lessen Hispanic voter turnout.

Under former Democratic President Barack Obama, the U.S. Justice Department had joined the legal challenge. It is not known whether Republican President Donald Trump’s administration will continue opposing the Texas redistricting.

In his dissent, Smith found that the 2011 redrawing was properly based on political, not racial, considerations, and he said the Obama administration had overstepped its bounds.

“It was obvious, from the start, that the DoJ attorneys viewed state officials and the legislative majority and their staffs as a bunch of backwoods hayseed bigots who bemoan the abolition of the poll tax and pine for the days of literacy tests and lynchings,” wrote Smith, an appointee of former Republican President Ronald Reagan.

The Texas Democratic Party chair, Gilberto Hinojosa, welcomed the ruling.

“Republicans in Texas have ensured that the dark days of discrimination in Texas continue to loom,” he said in a statement. “The sun will soon shine.”

The term gerrymandering to describe the political manipulation of electoral districts may date to 1812, when Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry approved a map that included an oddly shaped district said to look like a salamander.

Several Texas districts have bizarre-looking boundaries as a result of gerrymandering, including the 35th district, one of the three ruled unlawful, which includes parts of San Antonio and runs in a narrow strip northwest from the city.

– Reuters


Up Next on Politicoscope

Share this Article: "USA POLITICS: Texas Lawmakers Illegally Drew Three Voting Districts on Racial Lines: Court Rules"
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

Donate Online Today


Politicoscope
By Politicoscope March 12, 2017 02:00

You May Also Like


Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help

There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

What's on Your Mind?