WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives (MALC) filed two lawsuits, one in state court and one in federal court, challenging Texas’ newly-passed state and federal districts following the release of 2020 census data. The state court lawsuit focuses on how Texas House districts are drawn, arguing that the Republican-controlled Legislature ignored the “county line rule” of the Texas Constitution, which requires that counties with sufficient populations be kept whole in drawing state House districts. Instead, the Legislature broke up one county into three districts, one of which is predicted to be a competitive Republican seat. MALC asks the court to block the use of the Texas House map and order the creation of new House districts that comply with the rule.
In its federal lawsuit, MALC challenges Texas’ new congressional, state House and state board of education maps and argues that they were “developed to minimize and limit Latino and minority electoral opportunities and dilute the voting strength of Latino and minority voters.” This is the third federal lawsuit to be filed against Texas’ redistricting plans; League of United Latin American Citizens v. Abbott was filed before the maps were signed into law and Voto Latino v. Scott was filed immediately following the maps’ passage. MALC challenges the new maps under the 14th and 15th Amendments, as well as Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, by alleging that each map was drawn to intentionally discriminate against Texas voters of color and used race as a predominant factor in map drawing, with the resulting maps giving white voters more voting power and Latino voters fewer opportunities to elect their candidates of choice. MALC joins concerns raised in the two other federal lawsuits in arguing that Texas’ new maps, particularly the congressional map, do not accurately reflect the growth of the state’s Latino and minority populations over the last decade. The lawsuit asks the court to block the use of each map in future elections and order the creation of new maps that “do not dilute, cancel out, or minimize the voting strength of Latino voters.”