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Justice Dept. sues Texas over state redistricting maps, citing discrimination against Latinos

“This is not the first time Texas has acted to minimize the voting rights of its minority citizens. Decade after decade, Texas has enacted redistricting plans that violate the Voting Rights Act,” the Justice Department said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement marked the department’s first major legal action on redistricting. It comes at a time when the U.S. House is narrowly controlled by Democrats, some GOP-controlled state legislatures are tightening voting restrictions, and both parties are trying to draw maps to their own advantage ahead of the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election.

While the Supreme Court has declined to put limits on partisan gerrymandering, drawing lines that unfairly disadvantage racial and ethnic minorities is illegal.

“This is not the first time Texas has acted to minimize the voting rights of its minority citizens. Decade after decade, Texas has enacted redistricting plans that violate the Voting Rights Act,” the Justice Department said in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western Division of Texas. “In enacting its 2021 Congressional and House plans, the State has again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans.”

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