The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it has filed a lawsuit under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act against the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State, challenging the State’s redistricting plans for the Texas congressional delegation and the Texas House of Representatives.
“Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act requires that state voting laws – including laws that draw electoral maps – provide eligible voters with an equal opportunity to participate in the democratic process and elect representatives of their choosing,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The complaint we filed today alleges that Texas has violated Section 2 by creating redistricting plans that deny or abridge the rights of Latino and Black voters to vote on account of their race, color or membership in a language minority group.”
The United States’ complaint contends that Texas’ redistricting plan for its congressional delegation violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it has the discriminatory purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color or membership in a language minority group in that it deliberately minimizes the voting strength of minority communities. The lawsuit also claims that Texas violated Section 2 because its congressional redistricting plan has the discriminatory result of leading to an inequality in the opportunities for minority voters to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.
The United States’ complaint further contends that Texas’ State House redistricting plan violates Section 2 because it results in minority voters having less opportunity than other citizens to participate in the political process and elect legislators of their choice.
The United States’ complaint asks the court to prohibit Texas from conducting elections under the challenged plans and asks the court to order Texas to devise and implement new plans that comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The complaint also asks the court to establish interim plans pending a lawful state redistricting.
On Sept. 1, the department issued guidance under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, for redistricting and methods of electing government bodies.
More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice’s website at https://www.justice.gov/crt/voting-section.
Complaints about discriminatory voting practices may be reported to the Civil Rights Division through the internet reporting portal at https://civilrights.justice.gov or by telephone at 1-800-253-3931.