TEXAS REDISTRICTING: ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAWSUIT DROPPED AFTER MALDEF JOINS CASE
July 28, 2011
Plaintiffs in Teuber v. Texas sought to exclude Latinos from 2010 Census figures
SAN ANTONIO, TX – Yesterday, a federal district court in San Antonio, Texas granted the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force's request to join as a defendant in Teuber v. Texas, a case in which plaintiffs sought to exclude Latino residents from the 2010 Census figures that Texas uses for redistricting. Following the Task Force's intervention, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their case.
Plaintiffs claimed that including all Texans in redistricting data discriminated against them and had the "purpose and effect of strengthening the Hispanic vote." MALDEF represents the Task Force in this lawsuit in order to continue the staunch defense of the constitutional and civil rights of Latinos in Texas and all across the nation, and to ensure that all Latinos are counted for redistricting purposes.
Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated "This dismissal is a significant step toward turning back the too-prevalent backlash against the growth and importance of the Latino community to our nation's future, and toward vindicating our longstanding constitutional value supporting representation of all people in our democracy."
Nina Perales, Vice President of Litigation and lead attorney on the case, stated "The plaintiffs in this case relied on the fact that Texas gained four new congressional seats as a result of the numerical increase of all Texans but then wanted to subtract Latinos from redistricting data when it came time to draw the districts. We are glad the plaintiffs finally realized that their hypocritical and racially biased lawsuit should come to an end."
Latinos are 38% of the total population in Texas. According to the 2010 Census, the total population of Texas is 25,145,561 (an increase of 4.3 million from the 2000 Census). As a result of the state's total population growth, Texas gained 4 new congressional seats in the 2010 apportionment.
Plaintiffs had originally filed suit against a wide range of parties, including Texas Governor Rick Perry; Texas chairs of both the Republican Party and Democratic Party; Robert Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau; and Gary Locke, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The case was originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, before being transferred to the federal court in San Antonio. Plaintiffs include: Karen Teuber, Jim Burg and Ricky Grunden.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.