SAN ANTONIO – A three-judge federal court today approved a new redistricting map that remedies the racial gerrymandering violation affirmed last June by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Texas redistricting case.
The court’s action, which redraws boundaries of State House districts in Tarrant County, Texas, brings an end to a near decade-long legal battle fought by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) on behalf of the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force and individual voters.
“The state of Texas has spent the majority of this decade in its vain fight to defend original, and then redrawn, district lines that harm the Latino voting community,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel for MALDEF. “The Latino community will continue to reshape Texas politics, and the powers that be ought to reconsider their longstanding pattern of targeting that community in ongoing efforts at exclusion and disenfranchisement.”
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed several issues with respect to the state’s redrawn redistricting maps, and concluded that only the Texas Legislature’s 2013 redraw of State House District 90 was unconstitutional because lawmakers racially gerrymandered the district. This legal claim was unique to the MALDEF-represented parties.
“Once again, a federal court had to step in and redraw district lines to cure racial discrimination,” said Nina Perales, MALDEF vice president of litigation and lead attorney for the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force. “Texas should remember these lessons when it redistricts again in two years.”
The new map was submitted to the court in May by the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the State of Texas. The new boundaries for House District 90 will be used in the 2020 election.
Read the order HERE.