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Court: Texas House map intentionally diluted minority votes
|Last Edited||RP Apr 20, 2017 05:44pm|
|Author||Alexa Ura and Jim Malewitz|
|News Date||Thursday, April 20, 2017 09:50:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description|| Texas lawmakers intentionally diluted votes of minority voters in drawing the state's House districts, a panel of federal judges ruled Thursday. |
In a long-awaited ruling, the San Antonio-based judges found that lawmakers in 2011 either violated the U.S. Constitution or the Voting Rights Act by intentionally diluting minority voters in a litany of House districts across Texas. Those districts encompass areas including El Paso, Bexar, Nueces, Harris, Dallas and Bell counties.
In some instances, the judges ruled, map-drawers’ use of race to configure some districts to comply with the Voting Rights Act instead “turned the VRA on its head.”
The 2-1 ruling came one month after the same court found intentional discrimination in the drawing of three Texas congressional districts. Like that ruling, however, the judges did not offer a remedy for the violations — leaving open the question of how the ruling will affect House races in 2018.