D.C. COURT DENIES FAST-TRACK APPROVAL OF TEXAS REDISTRICTING PLANS
MALDEF presented arguments on voting rights violations
SAN ANTONIO, TX – Today, the federal district court in Washington, D.C. issued an order denying a request by Texas for expedited approval of the State's congressional, Texas House and Texas Senate redistricting plans.
MALDEF, on behalf of the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, presented oral argument to the D.C. court on November 2, 2011, urging the court to deny expedited approval of the State's plans because they diminish Latino voting strength.
As a result of today's ruling, the redistricting plans, which were enacted by the Legislature, cannot be used for the 2012 election cycle. A federal district court in San Antonio will now create redistricting plans to serve as interim remedies for the 2012 elections.
Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF’s President and General Counsel stated:
"The federally-mandated preclearance process played its appropriate and critical role here by preventing the state of Texas from implementing demonstrably unlawful and discriminatory district maps. We look forward to the implementation of fairer district plans for 2012."
MALDEF’s Vice President of Litigation and Lead Counsel for the Latino Task Force, Nina Perales, stated:
"Today's ruling is an important development in the effort to secure fair redistricting plans in Texas. It is our hope that the proposed redistricting plans we offered in last week’s remedial hearing are incorporated into the new plans being created by the San Antonio federal court for the 2012 elections. There has been substantial growth in Texas' Latino population over the past decade, and the plans should contain more Latino majority districts to reflect that growth."
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.
For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.