Texas Redistricting Maps on Hold Pending Federal Court Approval
A three-judge federal panel has issued a temporary injunction against the state of Texas, saying the state's new redistricting maps cannot be implemented until they are cleared by a federal court in Washington, D.C.
The injunction was requested by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, who asked the court to stop local officials from redrawing county voting precincts using the new map approved by the legislature during the summer.
"We wanted to make it clear to local election officials that they could not implement the plans," says Jose Garza, an attorney with MALC. Garza says local officials, who report to state officials on election matters, had begun to change their local maps to reflect the new plans.
Garza says the ruling brings those preparations to a halt until the federal court decides whether the maps are in compliance with the 1964 Federal Voting Rights Act. The court must certify that the maps don't reduce opportunities for minority representation by diluting minority voting strength.
Lawyers for the Texas attorney general acknowledged that county officials had begun drawing precinct lines based on the redistricting plan, calling those actions premature.
This happens every ten years after the US Census. The party that controls the state legislature always redraws voting districts in ways that keep their party in power. Both parties are guilty of this.