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Federal court rejects Texas redistricting maps

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onestepforward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 01:36 PM
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Federal court rejects Texas redistricting maps
http://www.chron.com/news/article/Federal-court-rejects...

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) A Washington-based federal court on Tuesday rejected Texas' request to approve new political districts without a trial.

In a brief ruling, the court agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice that the GOP-led Legislature used an improper standard for determining whether the new districts discriminate against minorities. The order clears the way for a trial.

The legal fight centers around a requirement in the 1965 Voting Rights Act that certain states with a history of discrimination, including Texas, be granted "preclearance" before changes in voting practices can be enacted.

The legal standard is whether proposed changes have the purpose or effect of diminishing voting rights based on race or color.
-snip-

In the proposed map for the 150-member Texas House, the Justice Department argues that minority districts are reduced from 50 to 45. The state has asserted that the number of minority districts would increase from 41 to 42.

The court also rejected a proposed map for the Texas Senate.
-snip-


This is the first I've heard of "preclearance," but I'm glad it exists. It is apparently still needed for Texas.
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