Disheartened and angry over the latest Texas voting maps handed down by federal judges, Democrats and minority rights groups looked Wednesday to a separate court in Washington as their last likely hope of cutting deeper into a solid Republican majority in the 2012 elections. The GOP stands poised to hardly lose any power under the latest Texas congressional and state House maps delivered this week by a San Antonio federal court, which confronted how the state’s political boundaries should be changed with more than 3 million new Hispanic residents. Minority rights groups who sued the state over the original maps – drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature last summer – received from the court Tuesday what will likely be the maps used this election year. They slammed those maps as a disaster, but with the twice-delayed Texas primaries on track for May 29, they also now face long odds of getting the lines redrawn yet again. “This was a total devastation for the Latino community across Texas,” said Luis Vera, attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Seeking to illustrate how poorly the maps were drawn, Vera met reporters at a San Antonio intersection where three separate congressional districts would converge. One district goes north 80 miles to Austin; across the street, another district begins that stretches more than 550 miles west to El Paso.
On Tuesday, LULAC joined with the NAACP and three other groups in asking the Washington court to expedite its ruling on whether the Texas Legislature’s original maps violate the federal Voting Rights Act. They hope that a favorable ruling from the Washington court will compel the San Antonio court to go back and alter districts ruled to be in violation.
Full Article: News from The Associated Press.