Federal court panel rules against Texas redistricting plan

Capital Highlights

Ed Sterling

Three of Texas’ 36 congressional districts are unconstitutional because of racial or political gerrymandering, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled on March 10.

The judges ruled 2-1 that the districts’ boundaries, drawn by the Texas Legislature in 2011 and 2013, violate the U.S. Constitution.

Plaintiffs in the case called Perez et al. v. Abbott et al. mounted statewide and regional claims in South and West Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the Houston area under Section 2 of the U.S. Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment. States that have a history of race-based voter suppression may be subject to judicial pre-clearance of redistricting plans under Section 2. The Fourteenth Amendment requires due process and equal protection under the law for all citizens.

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