From Politic365 on September 6, 2012:
Texas’ redistricting plan was denied pre-clearance under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) last week by a U.S. District court in D.C. Essentially, the court ruled that the Texas congressional and state maps purposefully denied Latinos the ability to elect a candidate of their choice, and thus, the maps did not comply with the VRA. So while some may see this ruling as simply a victory for minority voters in Texas, the ruling also appears to be a win for section 5 of the VRA throughout the country.
Section 5 of the VRA requiresstates with a history of discriminatory voting behavior to seek pre-clearance for redistricting plans from the government. In its suit, the State of Texas argued that section 5 was an overreach by the federal government into state sovereignty, according to Dr. Henry Flores, professor of Political Science and Dean of the Graduate School at St. Mary’s University, in San Antonio, Texas.
“There’s a nationwide attack on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, to me, this decision is a great victory,” Flores said. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked the court to rule this piece of legislation unconstitutional, claiming that the state no longer needed to be checked for its historic racial redistricting procedures.
“Essentially, the court said ‘You guys are crazy,’” said Flores, who was also an expert witness in a MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) lawsuit against Texas over redistricting.
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