Federal Experts Agreed: Texas Redistricting Discriminates

San Antonio (Texas) – The recent disclosure that political appointees at the U.S. Department of Justice overruled the findings and recommendations of career attorneys that Texas congressional redistricting violated the Voting Rights Act provides more proof that Latino voters’s political strength was diluted in the 2003 redistricting plan.

“The memorandum makes clear that DOJ attorneys who initially reivewed the Texas redistricting plan agreed with MALDEF that it discriminated against Latino voters. Had the political appointees not intervened, the plan would not have gone into effect,” commented Nina Perales, MALDEF Southwest Regional Counsel and lead attorney for the American GI Forum of Texas and other Latino plaintiffs in the Texas redistricting litigation.

“The U.S. Supreme Court can and should take judicial notice of this new information in considering whether to grant a full hearing in our pending appeal,” continued Ms. Perales.

MALDEF filed GI Forum v. Perry, a challenge to the Texas congressional redistricting plan on behalf of Latino voters in 2003. Now consolidated with Session v. Perry, which features claims by African American voters and Democratic incumbents, the case is pending on direct appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A link to the Justice Department memorandum can be found at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/documents/texasDOJmemo.pdf

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.

MALDEF Press Release via email Dec. 7, 2005–gm

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