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Feds File To Block 'Discriminatory' Texas Redistricting Map

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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:54 AM
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Feds File To Block 'Discriminatory' Texas Redistricting Map
Talking Points Memo 10/26/11
Feds: Rick Perry-Signed Texas Redistricting Plan Reduces Voting Power Of 479,704 Hispanics

There is ample circumstantial evidence that the congressional and state representative redistricting maps signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry had not only the effect but the intent of limiting the voting power of Hispanic voters, Justice Department lawyers said in a court filing late Tuesday.

DOJ is seeking the block the maps, filing to deny Texas request for summary judgement in a case involving allegations that officials in the state tried to limit the voter power of Hispanic voters in violation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Federal lawyers contended in the newest filing that there is ample circumstantial evidence of a discriminatory purpose with regard to both the State House and Congressional plans and that in the new maps nearly half a million fewer Hispanics would live in districts where they would have the ability to elect a candidate of their choosing.

The proposed Congressional redistricting plan has a retrogressive effect because, compared to the benchmark plan, it decreases the percentage of districts in the Congressional plan in which minority voters have the ability to elect and because under the proposed plan 479,704 fewer Hispanics will reside in districts in which they have an ability to elect a candidate of choice, lawyers with DOJs Civil Rights Division write. Both plans were also adopted with a discriminatory purpose, and there are a substantial number of material facts in dispute with regard to both prongs of the Section 5 standard.

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white cloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 10:55 AM
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1. Thanks
For the good news. What is going on with the voter ID nowdays.
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 01:12 PM
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2. Voter ID is on hold for now
It can't go into effect until Department of Justice (DOJ) pre-clears it. They sent it back to the Secretary of State for some big questions. Like how the hell do they know who will be impacted and how many of them are minorities. Of course the SoS has no idea, so they punted to DPS records.

Texas Tribune 10/5/11
Texas Secretary of State Responds to Feds on Voter ID

The Texas secretary of state submitted additional information to the Department of Justice on Tuesday in an effort to ensure the states controversial voter ID law is implemented on time. It's unclear, though, whether the data Texas provided will allow federal voting officials to determine whether the law would disenfranchise minority voters.

The bill, SB 14 by state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. But the timeline appeared in jeopardy last month after the DOJ said it needed additional information to ensure the law would not infringe on the voting rights of certain minority groups. The law, which Gov. Rick Perry deemed an emergency item during the legislative session this year, would require voters to furnish a state-issued photo ID before casting a ballot.

Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the Department of Justice or the federal courts reserve the right to review laws that affect voter participation before they are implemented. The Department of Justice initially said on Sept. 23 it did not receive adequate information in the state's application for preclearance to determine if the proposed changes would negatively affect minority groups. The department wanted to know the racial breakdown and counties of residence of the estimated 605,500 registered voters who do not have a state-issued license or ID, and how many of them have Spanish surnames. It requested the same information for registered voters who do have valid IDs.

The state, though, does not collect race information from voters. So the secretary of state instead submitted to the Department of Justice a list of all the Hispanic surnames in Texas, as recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau. It offered to check that list against the list of registered voters to determine how many voters have Hispanic names. The DOJ refused to comment when asked last week if the states inability to provide the racial breakdown as requested would delay or even prevent the preclearance request.

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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 10:29 AM
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3. Redistricting court battles to heat up this week
AAS 10/30/11

Redistricting court battles to heat up this week

The racially charged battle over newly drawn political districts in Texas will heat up this week, with scheduled court hearings in San Antonio and Washington.

But don't expect a resolution on redistricting anytime soon.

At stake: boundaries of districts across the state, including in Austin. According to the maps approved by the Legislature, Travis County would be split among five congressional districts, none with a majority of population in the county.

Today , in the first of two redistricting hearings, a three-person panel of federal judges in San Antonio will listen to groups suing the state for drawing what they describe as racially and ethnically discriminatory congressional and state House districts. Lawyers representing those groups will discuss their visions for what they think the maps should look like, at least for the short term.

And on Wednesday, another panel of three federal judges will convene in Washington for arguably a more important hearing. In determining whether the redistricting maps drawn by the Legislature earlier this year comply with the Voting Rights Act, the judges will decide on two issues: whether the maps were purposely created to discriminate against minorities and whether any part of the maps diminishes minority representation - a charge that will be argued by the U.S. Department of Justice. Lawyers representing the state attorney general will defend the maps.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-02-11 07:08 PM
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