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The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texas over its newly drawn congressional and state legislature maps.
The lawsuit alleges the districts drawn by Texas lawmakers violate the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting strength of minority voters.
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a Tribal Nations Summit during Native American Heritage Month, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
“The department’s career voting law experts have assessed Texas’s new redistricting plans and determined that they include districts that violate the Voting Rights Act,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit.
“This is not the first time that Texas has acted to minimize the voting rights of its minority citizens,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta added during the conference. “Decade after decade, courts have found that Texas has enacted redistricting plans that deliberately dilute the voting strength of Latino and Black voters and that violate the Voting Rights Act.”
The lawsuit comes just weeks after the DOJ sued Texas over a separate voting law, SB 1, which bans 24-hour polling locations and increases ID requirements.
The DOJ also sued Texas in September over the state’s new law outlawing abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.