Don’t believe Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton when he says it’s no big deal that a federal court ruled state legislators used racial gerrymandering to draw congressional districts back in 2011. He’s pulling your leg. Paxton is right that the Legislature replaced the 2011 voting map in 2013. He’s not quite right when he says there are “no lines to redraw,” because some of the problem districts have the same lines in both maps.
If the court orders new lines, time is short to get that done. Filing for next year’s March party primaries is set to start in November.
But the biggest thing about Friday’s ruling was what the federal judicial panel’s 2-1 majority said about legislative intent in drawing the 2011 lines.
Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriguez found that Texas lawmakers acted “with the intent to dilute minority voting strength.”