WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Voto Latino and Texas voters challenging the state’s newly-enacted congressional map. Senate Bill 6 establishes new congressional districts for the Lone Star State following the release of 2020 census data. The complaint alleges that the new districts violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting strength of communities of color, particularly Latinx and Black communities. The suit asks the court to block the map and order the creation of a new map that adequately represents the state’s minority populations and allows Latinx and Black voters to elect candidates of their choice. This is the second lawsuit against the new congressional map; on Oct. 18, members of the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force and voters challenged the state’s redistricting plans for congressional, legislative and board of education districts.
Texas’ population grew substantially since the 2010 census, leading to the addition of two congressional seats in this round of redistricting. The complaint points out that 95% of “Texas’s population growth between 2010 and 2020 came from communities of color. Black, Latino, and Asian communities all grew far faster than Texas’s white population, with the Latino community growing fastest of all,” yet “white Texans, who now make up less than 40 percent of Texas’s population, nevertheless form a majority of eligible voters in more than 60 percent of Texas’s congressional districts.” The plaintiffs argue that, by purposefully spreading out Latinx and Black communities in some districts and packing them into other districts, the new congressional map creates more opportunities for white voters and less opportunities for Latinx and Black voters to elect their representatives of choice. Specifically, the complaint alleges that, if districts were drawn to strengthen minority voting power rather than dilute it, Latinx voters could form the majority in at least eight congressional districts in southwest Texas — two more districts than S.B. 6 provides — and Latinx and Black voters could hold more voting power in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas. The lawsuit spells out Texas’ long history of discriminatory practices against voters of color, including during past redistricting processes, highlighting that in “every redistricting cycle since 1970, a federal court has ruled at least once that the State violated the Voting Rights Act or the U.S. Constitution during the redistricting process.”