Federal court strikes down GOP redistricting efforts in Texas

Mar 13, 2017

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes — shown speaking at a campaign event in November at a County Line barbecue restaurant in San Antonio — represents a majority-Hispanic district that was voided by the three-judge panel.
Credit Edward A. Ornelas / Austin American-Statesman

A federal court has ruled that Texas Republican Legislators tried to discriminate against voters of color when they redrew district lines in 2011, reports The Austin American-Statesman.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that lawmakers drew a map that intentionally diluted the voting power of Latino and black citizens.

Voting rights advocates have for years been crying foul about what they believed was a blatant power grab on the part of the Texas GOP. The court agreed, calling the 2011 redistricting effort a “rushed and secretive process.”

Redrawing voting districts to favor one constituency is a process called “gerrymandering,” and the Republican Party has also lost recent cases based around the practice in Wisconsin and North Carolina. The effect can be seen in those states, as well as Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where Democrats won more than half the votes but hold less than half of the seats in Congress.