Republicans redrew Texas House districts in 2011 to gain partisan advantage by intentionally and improperly diluting the voting strength of minority Texans, a federal court ruled Thursday. In a 2-1 decision, the San Antonio-based federal court panel said “invidious discriminatory purpose” underlies the map that set district boundaries for the state’s 150 House members in violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act and the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. “The impact of the plan was certainly to reduce minority voting opportunity statewide, resulting in even less proportional representation for minority voters,” the court said.
Despite explosive growth in the state’s minority population, the Texas House map not only failed to create any new minority opportunity districts, it eliminating one in Nueces County, said the majority opinion by U.S. District Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriguez.
“Discussions among mapdrawers demonstrated a hostility to creating any new minority districts, as those were seen to be a loss of Republican seats, despite the massive minority population growth statewide,” the ruling said.
Full Article: Court: Texas House map drawn to dilute minority voters.