On August 28th, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the redistricting maps drawn by the Republican-led Texas legislature did not comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Court found the U.S. Congressional and Texas State Legislature redistricting maps discriminated against minority voters.
"This ruling is a huge victory for the state of Texas and for voting rights across our country. The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy, yet history has shown deliberate attempts to disenfranchise minority communities and bar them from voting at the polls," stated Congresswoman Johnson.
"Our state is very diverse and it is becoming more so each year. This diversity should be reflected in the individuals that we send to theTexas State Legislature, and the United States Congress. All citizens, in Texas and throughout the U.S., should have equal voting rights and protection under the law."
Under the Voting Rights Act, Texas and several other states with a history of discriminatory practices, must obtain "preclearance" from the Department of Justice or a declaratory judgment from the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia in order to implement any redistricting plans. "
Since the 2000 U.S. Census, Texas's population has grown by 4.3 million people. Latinos accounted for 65 percent of that growth, while 13.4 percent were black and 10.1 percent were Asian-American. It was argued that this growth was not represented in the new maps.