Justice Dept. Files Voting Rights Suit Against Texas Over New Map

8 months ago 160

The section said the state’s redistricting program would interruption the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against number voters.

Attorney General Merrick Garland connected  Capitol Hill successful  Washington successful  October.
Credit...Al Drago for The New York Times

Katie Benner

Dec. 6, 2021, 2:26 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department sued Texas connected Monday implicit the state’s program to redraw its voting districts, saying that the program enacted by the Republican-led legislature diluted the value of ballots formed by Black and Latino voters, fundamentally making their votes number for little than those of their chap citizens.

In announcing the suit, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said that the redistricting program that Texas approved violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which says that voters cannot beryllium denied adjacent entree to the governmental process based connected their contention oregon ethnicity.

Texas’ redistricting program “denies Black and Latino voters the adjacent accidental to enactment successful the predetermination process,” and immoderate aspects of the program were created “with discriminatory intent,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said astatine a quality league to denote the Justice Department lawsuit.

Ms. Gupta said that the Texas program was enacted aft a rushed process that provided minimal opportunities for nationalist remark and nary nationalist testimony.

The Justice Department’s suit comes arsenic President Biden and legislature Democrats look sustained unit to combat Republican authorities legislatures astir the federation that person sought to curb voting access.

Mr. Garland said that the Biden medication has lone a constricted quality to support states from enacting discriminatory voting laws — adjacent though the Justice Department has prioritized the contented and doubled its enforcement unit — due to the fact that a 2013 Supreme Court determination ended the department’s authorization to o.k. oregon contradict voting laws and redistricting plans earlier they went into effect.

Even though the Justice Department has previously sued Texas, as good arsenic Georgia, implicit laws limiting ballot access, and filed statements of enactment successful lawsuits brought by backstage plaintiffs successful Florida and Arizona astir laws successful those states, those caller statutes could beryllium successful effect for aggregate predetermination cycles earlier the courts determine whether they are constitutional.

He asked Congress to reconstruct that authorization to the Justice Department and said that the Texas redistricting program and different measures that the medication believes curbs number entree to the ballot container would not person been enacted if the section had that authority.

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