Justice Department Sues Texas Over New Redistricting Maps
By Bill Galluccio
December 6, 2021
The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Texas over its new redistricting maps. The lawsuit says that the maps "deny or abridge the rights of Latino and Black voters to vote on account of their race, color, or membership in a language minority group" in violation of the Voting Rights Act.
"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," Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a press conference on Monday (December 6).
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta explained that the maps ignored the fact that the recent population growth in Texas was spurred predominantly by Black and Hispanic residents. She said that while Texas gained two congressional seats following the 2020 census, neither of the two newly created districts were in areas with a majority of Black or Hispanic voters.
"Our investigation determined that Texas' redistricting plans will dilute the increased minority voting strength that should have developed from these significant demographic shifts," Gupta said.
The Office of the Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, responded to the lawsuit in a statement on Twitter.
"The Department of Justice's absurd lawsuit against our state is the Biden Administration's latest ploy to control Texas voters. I am confident that our legislature's redistricting decisions will be proven lawful, and this preposterous attempt to sway democracy will fail."