David Yates Jul. 27, 2016, 1:00pm


AUSTIN – A group of Latino voters recently filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott and the state of Texas.

The suit, Lopez et al v. Abbott, was brought the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an organization formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity, according to the group’s website.

According to a press release, the suit alleges that the way in which the state elects judges to the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals violates the Voting Rights Act.

All 18 high court judges in Texas, nine for each court, are elected statewide.

“Because White Texans comprise the majority of the voting age population in the state, and because of racially polarized voting, Latino-preferred candidates are almost never elected to the highest levels of the state’s judiciary,” the press release states.

“As our nation undergoes dialogue about ways to eliminate the impact of race on our justice system, this lawsuit seeks to ensure that the highest courts in the state of Texas reflect increasing levels of racial diversity across the state.”

The plaintiffs are represented in part by Jose Garza, partner at Garza Golando Moran.

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