DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats. It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.
Election law expert Rick Hasen posted this paragraph from Texas’ 54-page response filed in Texas federal court on his blog with the comment “Only in America.”
Holder has asked the court to force Texas to get permission from the Justice Department before it makes any changes to its election laws. Texas has intentionally redrawn its Congressional districts to dilute the Hispanic vote, according to the Justice Department.
Holder’s move to stop the redistricting comes after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, which automatically required Texas and eight other states to get that permission.
The Supreme Court struck down Section 4, which determined the “coverage formula” that specified which states are subject to so-called pre-clearance requirements. Holder is suing under a lesser-known provision of the VRA that lets courts step in and subject a state to pre-clearance requirements if it discriminated against minority voters on purpose.
Holder’s “bold move” to use that provision could backfire by angering Republicans and destroying any chance that Congress will step in to come up with a new coverage formula to give the VRA its teeth back, Hasen wrote in The National Law Journal.
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