WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, another lawsuit was filed in federal court challenging Texas’ newly-passed legislative and congressional maps. This complaint, filed on behalf of Fair Maps Texas Action Committee, OCA-Greater Houston, the North Texas Chapter of the Asian Pacific Islander Americans Public Affairs Association, Emgage Texas and individual voters, argues that the state’s new districts intentionally dilute the voting power of Texans of color, specifically Black, Latino and Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. The lawsuit asks the court to block the use of the current maps and order the creation of new maps that do not dilute minority voting strength. This is the sixth federal lawsuit and the seventh lawsuit overall to be filed against the maps drawn following the release of 2020 census data.
The complaint highlights that Texas’ new state House, Senate and congressional maps do not reflect minority population growth over the past decade and argues that the Republican-controlled Legislature instead chose to follow what it did in past redistricting cycles that required federal court intervention: it drew “electoral districts that intentionally discriminate against the state’s minority populations and dilute their voting power.” In particular, the plaintiffs argue that the Legislature “cracked” and “packed” minority voters across state and federal districts in order to deny them a chance to elect their candidate of choice in violation of Section 2 of the VRA. Furthermore, while the Legislature stated that their redistricting process was “race blind” and they ignored any racial impact analysis, the complaint alleges that race was actually the predominant factor used to draw new districts in violation of the 14th Amendment and the Legislature intentionally discriminated against minority voters in violation of both the 14th and 15th Amendments.