DALLAS, TX – Today, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas rejected an apportionment challenge that sought to force the City of Irving, Texas to discriminate against Latino voters in drawing the map for city council districts. MALDEF represents Latino voters who live in Irving and intervened to defend their rights in the litigation.

The lawsuit, filed by several Irving residents, sought a court order mandating that the city apportion its council districts based on citizen voting age population instead of total population. Such a policy would have severely reduced representation of Latinos in Irving by packing them into overcrowded districts and burdening representatives elected to represent Latino neighborhoods.

The court ruled in favor of the City of Irving, holding that Irving had the right to apportion its districts based on total population to provide fair representation to all Irving residents.

Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated "Every resident of a legislative district -- regardless of age, citizenship, voter registration, or any other characteristic -- is a constituent deserving of fair representation. The court was right to approve the wise decision to ensure equal representation to every resident of Irving."

"This is an important victory for all voters, regardless of race, who enjoy fair representation in equally-apportioned districts," commented Nina Perales, MALDEF's Director of Litigation and lead counsel for the Latino intervenors in the case. "This case also represents a defeat for fringe elements of society who want to target Latinos for exclusion from the political process," continued Perales.

The court's opinion can be found online at:

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:

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Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund