AUSTIN – Although an Aug. 15 decision upheld the vast majority of Texas congressional district map, Attorney General Ken Paxton expressed his disappointment with a portion of a federal court decision on maps that the district court itself adopted in 2012 and have been in effect for the last three election cycles.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in San Antonio ruled that the two particular districts (Congressional Districts 27 and 35) the court itself adopted had a discriminatory purpose.
“We appreciate that the panel ruled in favor of Texas on many issues in the case. But the portion of the ruling that went against Texas is puzzling considering the Legislature adopted the congressional map the same court itself adopted in 2012, and the Obama-era Department of Justice did not bring any claims against the map,” Paxton said.
“We look forward to asking the Supreme Court to decide whether Texas had discimrinatory intent when relying on the district court.”
The court ruled unanimously in favor of Texas on the following issues:
- That the plaintiffs’ failed to prove that black and Hispanic voters vote cohesively for purposes of creating a coalition district in Dallas-Fort Worth;
- That the plaintiffs’ failed to prove that black and Hispanic voters vote cohesively for purposes of creating a coalition district in Houston; and
- The lawfulness of Congressional District 23.
“The court’s ruling on intentional discrimination is an important safeguard of Latino voting rights. Texas Latinos have fought for more than half the decade to secure a fair congressional redistricting plan we will continue litigating until we secure an equitable remedy," said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for MALDEF and lead counsel for the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force.