Testimony wrapped up Thursday in a trial before a three-judge panel to determine if redistricting maps drawn by the Texas Legislature violate the Voting Rights Act and discriminate against minorities. The final witness, a redistricting expert, told the court that a congressional map drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature removed 479,000 Latinos from districts that elect minority-preferred candidates.
Lisa Handley, a redistricting consultant, said her analysis for the U.S. Justice Department also found Republicans changed a sweeping congressional district west of San Antonio to one that would be unlikely to give minority voters a chance to elect candidates of their choice. That district currently is represented by Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco, a San Antonio Republican.
Evidence presented by experts shows Latinos vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates. Lawyers for the Justice Department, the state of Texas and minority rights groups will present closing arguments Tuesday.