Texas Latino Voters
A man adjusts his face mask as he walks past a mural in the heavily Latino section of Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas. (LM Otero/AP)
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The Biden administration’s Department of Justice, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, is suing the state of Texas over it’s new congressional redistricting plans. The suit alleges that the new maps are in direct violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

At a news conference on Monday, Attorney General Garland confirmed, “The complaint we filed today alleges that Texas has violated Section Two by creating redistricting plans that deny or bridge the rights of Latino and Black voters to vote on account of their race, color or membership in a language-minority group. The department’s career voting law experts have assessed Texas’s new redistricting plans and determined that they include districts that violate the Voting Rights Act.” 

This is not the first time Biden’s department of Justice has sued the second-most populous state in the country. Texas was also sued twice over incidents related to the 2020 election results. This was on top of lawsuits about immigration enforcement and the state’s newly-imposed abortion restrictions on women. 

Texas Republicans attempt to gerrymander districts to maintain power

The process of congressional redistricting occurs after every census. Districts should represent citizens accurately and fairly. However, Texas developed its new plans rapidly and without public input. The Department of Justice asserts that the new maps are likely to disenfranchise voters of color, who represent 95% of the state’s nearly 4 million new residents. 

The tactic of cherry-picking congressional districts to maintain political power has a name: “gerrymandering”. 

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott voiced anger over the Department of Justice’s push for equitable voting districts. 

A spokesman for governor Abbott responded to the suit, stating, “It’s no surprise that Democrats in Washington are attacking our state’s redistricting plans.”

The spokesperson said the Governor is “confident” that courts will uphold Texas’ redistricting plans.

“Our office continues working with the Office of the Attorney General to ensure Texans are represented fairly.” 

Meanwhile, Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar cheered the lawsuit.  Sen. Klobuchar voiced her support while promoting the John Lewis Freedom to Vote Act, which has been hamstrung in the Senate.

“This lawsuit underscores the importance of passing the Freedom to Vote Act to end discriminatory redistricting,” said Klobuchar. She hopes Congress will set “national standards to make sure all Americans can make their voices heard in our democracy.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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