Texas redistricting map denied by federal court
Tue, 28 Aug 2012 20:48:44 GMT —
After months of wrangling redistricting lines the state of Texas gets straighten out by the federal court.
On Tuesday a Washington federal court set aside the maps the Republican led Texas Legislature approved in 2011. Democratic minorities and civil rights groups strongly objected to the re-districting.
The court ruled 2-1 against the pre-clearance of the congressional and legislative maps, citing they do not comply with Voting Rights Act, federal legislation that gives minorities the right to choose candidates.
The courts had no quarrel with the plan for the Texas Senate, but did not like the Texas's congressional delegation and the State House of Representatives map.
State Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and Representative Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, served at chairmen of the Senate and House redistricting committees. In past statements about the redistricting guidelines both deny redrawing the district based on racial minorities. Non-whites account for over 90 percent of the population growth in Texas, allowing four more congressional seats, according to the ruling.
Under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Attorney General of the United States or a three-judge panel of this Court must approve, or "preclear," any redistricting plan before it can take effect.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will appeal the flawed decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Today's decision extends the Voting Rights Act beyond the limits intended by Congress and beyond the boundaries imposed by the Constitution.
" said Abbott.