Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Texas Congressional redistricting again struck down

San Antonio – A three-judge panel on Tuesday unanimously found intentional discrimination in a redistricting plan drawn by a Republican legislature that gave the state 4 new U.S. Representatives.
Though the decision came too late to affect voting in the 2012 general elections, the ruling will require a redistricting review by the Department of Justice prior to the primaries of 2014.

Though Texas and eight other predominantly southern states with a history of racial bias were ordered to submit their political maps to the U.S. Justice Department for compliance, State prosecutors instead sought preclearance through the federal court in Washington rather than through the Justice Department.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying Tuesday's ruling "extends the Voting Rights Act beyond the limits intended by Congress and beyond the boundaries imposed by the Constitution."

In the holding, the judges noted that the new districting lines skirted areas of high minority population with surgical precision, excluding such luxury and high income areas as country clubs and gated sports communities. 

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