Court Approval of Texas Redistricting is Roll Back of Voting Rights

Press Release June 9

(SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS) – Today MALDEF criticized the decision of a federal three-judge panel to allow the Texas congressional redistricting plan to remain in effect, charging that the redistricting plan discriminates against Latino voters.

“Today’s decision leaves in place a redistricting plan that rolls back the political progress of Texas Latinos,” commented Nina Perales, MALDEF Regional Counsel.

“The court has allowed the Legislature to fracture Webb County voters, limit the number of Latino-majority districts in South Texas and deny close to one million Latinos in the Metroplex an opportunity for their own district. It’s clear
the panel has refused to change its earlier decision, even after the U.S. Supreme Court asked it to reconsider.”

MALDEF represents Latino voters and civil rights organizations in this challenge to the congressional redistricting plan enacted by the Texas Legislature in 2003. The case went to trial in December, 2003 and resulted in a decision by the trial court to uphold the Legislature’s map. After the plaintiffs appealed, the United States Supreme Court in October 2004 reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded the case to the trial court for further consideration.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is a national non-profit, civil rights organization which protects and promotes the civil rights of Latinos through advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, higher education scholarships and, when necessary, through the legal system.

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