WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a group of Texas voters and state Sen. Beverly Powell (D) filed a federal lawsuit against Texas’ newly-passed state Senate map, arguing that the districts were drawn to intentionally dilute the voting strength of communities of color. This is the fourth lawsuit filed in federal court challenging Texas’ redistricting plans enacted following the release of 2020 census data and the second to challenge the new state Senate map for discriminating against voters of color, specifically Latino Texans.
The complaint focuses on Tarrant County and state Senate District 10, the district of Sen. Powell. The suit argues that “the mapdrawers acted with racially discriminatory intent in drawing” the new district lines, creating a map that “cracks apart Tarrant County’s minority populations, diluting their voting strength by submerging them in Anglo-controlled senate districts.” The plaintiffs point out that the enacted Senate plan is nearly identical to one struck down by a federal court in the last round of redistricting for being “intentionally racially discriminatory.” The plaintiffs argue that the legislators were fully aware of the adverse effects that the new map would have on voters of color, yet moved forward and broke apart minority populations in state Senate District 10 — meaning that in “a majority-minority county of over 2 million residents, minority voters will have their voices shut out completely, reducing from one to zero the number of senate districts in which they will be able to elect their candidate of choice.” The complaint argues that this intentional racial discrimination and using race as a predominant factor during the map-drawing process has resulted in the dilution of minority voting strength in Tarrant County. The suit alleges that, for these reasons, the map violates the 14th and 15th Amendments as well as Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and asks the court to block the current state Senate map and order the redrawing of state Senate District 10 to protect minority voting power.