In what feels like a huge victory for the resistance, a federal district court issued its ruling in the lawsuit over Texas’ Republican-drawn congressional map—above. And the court’s decision was a major victory for voting rights when it struck down several Texas districts for violating the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protections Clause due to the GOP’s illegal racial gerrymandering.
The court found that in several districts the GOP had diluted Latino voting strength so that Anglo—and by Anglo they mean ‘white’—candidates could win. And since that is, and again I’ll say it, illegal, not to mention racist, a new map could be used in the 2018 elections; and these new, additional districts would be created where Latino voters could elect their candidate preference, and Democrats could gain seats.
Again ... win; win.
The court ruling also found that the GOP was racist when they redrew districts in the greater Dallas area, but did not specifically say that they would require Republican legislators to redraw the district to elect a Latino candidate; still the plaintiffs could press the court to impose such a requirement.
But it’s clear, to the court, and through their ruling, that they believe that the GOP intentionally engaged in racial discrimination in drawing their maps, and that finding could be grounds for placing Texas back under Justice Department “preclearance” for voting law changes under the Voting Rights Act.
The sad part is that this case began in 2011, and the litigants completed their arguments in 2014, so the plaintiffs were outraged, and rightly so, that the court took so long to rule because it allowed the GOP to continue this illegal racial gerrymandering for almost a decade; just think about how the outcomes of every election in the last six years was affected by their tactics.
Of course, the Republicans will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, but there have been a string of recent victories against GOP racial gerrymandering making it likely that the court will uphold all, or part, of this decision, meaning Texas could have a new congressional map for 2018.
And again, that means a change for the better, seeing the removal of Republicans from office in Texas, and adding more Democrats to the mix.
The resistance is winning ... and in Texas of all places.