Group files lawsuit challenging Texas redistribution maps – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Just a day before the end of the Texas legislative session, there is already a lawsuit challenging the redistribution cards. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, filed a complaint on Monday.

“After reviewing the plans as set by lawmaker, we have come to the conclusion that they do not reflect the changing face of Texas, and in particular that they do not reflect the strong population growth of Latinos. over the past decade, ”said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for MALDEF.

There are new redistribution maps for the Texas House and Senate, the State Board of Education, and US Congressional Districts. LULAC said it plans to challenge the cards as well, once the invoices are signed.

“We want to send a clear message to all Texans that we are against gerrymandering, we are against rigging the system, we are against politicians who choose their constituents instead of voters choosing their politicians, and we will defend our constitution. and the Voting Rights Law, ”said LULAC President Domingo Garcia.

Critics like Garcia point to the strong growth of the Latin American population, particularly in North Texas, without the addition of a minority opportunity district in Congress. The state added two seats in Congress, one in the Houston and Austin areas. The Texas NAACP is also considering a redistribution.

There are some incredible legal issues involving African Americans and Latinos in the cards, so it doesn’t look like these are going to be rectified, so I see no way around the fact that there could very well be litigation, ”said Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas State NAACP.

State Representative Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), who chaired the Texas House redistribution, said the cards were in accordance with the law, as was Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston), who chaired the redistribution in the Senate.

“I also want to be very clear on something because I’ve received questions about the use of racial data,” Huffman said. “While these maps were written regardless of race, it is wrong to say that race was totally ignored at my end. End-to-end process. I promise to give due consideration to all relevant factors. for legal compliance, including compliance with Article 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The Senate and House redistribution bills have passed and will soon be heading to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for his signature.

Additionally, as the special session draws to a close, a transgender sports bill is en route to the governor’s office. He says students should play for teams that match their gender identity on their birth certificate, near or at the time of birth.

And in a late addition to the session’s agenda, Abbott called for legislation banning vaccination warrants, but it didn’t reach House floor with the clock running out.

Bills to distribute $ 16 billion in federal relief funds are in conference committee, one day remains.

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