Texas GOP-drawn redistribution maps look ripe for defeat in court challenge, lawyer says

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  • Republicans-controlled Texas Lege is developing new voting cards aimed at strengthening the party’s power in the state.

The redistribution plans proposed so far by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature are not only subject to legal action, a leading voting rights lawyer predicts: they are likely to be facing defeats in court.

“Seeing the plans now being proposed by the state, they will be easy to beat,” said Albert Kauffman, a professor of law at St. Mary’s University who spent two decades as a senior litigator for the Mexican American. Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF. .

The Republican-dominated Texas Legislature is drawing new political maps, which it does every 10 years. And reliably, the cards are being challenged in lawsuits brought by the opposition party.

Civil rights groups have already raised red flags on proposed maps, saying they are dividing up the state in a way that protects the seats now held by Republicans while downplaying the voting power of people of color, who are more likely to support Democrats.

While more than 60% of Texas residents are people of color, the maps proposed so far by the Lege would give whites the majority of votes in half of the state’s congressional districts, according to a Texas analysis Tribune.

Redistribution cards in southern states are no longer subject to automatic review under federal voting rights law. However, Kauffman said court precedents suggest judges will present cards that can be proven to deprive black or Latino areas of further representation.

“Just look at the cards and read about it, it’s so clear that they’ve diluted many areas where you could have elected an additional Latin American or African American member to Congress or Senate,” he said. he declared. “So I just think there’s no doubt about it.”

From Kauffman’s perspective, data from the latest census shows that people of color have fueled 95% of Texas’ population growth over the past decade.

Kauffman said the ruling party often overstepped during the redistribution process as it sought to strengthen its power. In this case, the overtaking seems flagrant enough to condemn him to defeat in court, he added.

“To be fair, this sort of thing happens with both parties, as with the Democrats in control during the 1991 redistribution,” he said. “But the Republicans here, I think, have gone even further.”

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