Today, the Department of Justice announced that the Texas redistricting maps for the Texas House of Representatives and Congressional districts did not meet pre-clearance. (The SBOE and Senate maps did, which sucks, more on that later.)
Basically, receiving pre-clearance means that the map doesn't unfairly discriminate on the basis of race, color, or a “language minority group.” The DOJ's decision suggests that they, too, see problems in these two maps, which do not reflect the fact that Texas's immense population growth over the last decade has been due to minority groups.
In the meantime, here are statements received by Burnt Orange Report on the DOJ's decision:
State Rep. Carol Alvarado Statement on the Dept. of Justice's Response to Texas House & Congressional Redistricting Plan
“By not granting pre-clearance, the Department of Justice has come to the same conclusion that many of my colleagues and I reached months ago – that the maps blatantly ignored the realities of our population growth by diluting and diminishing the impact minority voters have on elections. With over 89% of Texas' growth being attributable to minority groups, the DOJ must ensure that every community has an equal opportunity to elect the candidates of their choice.”
Rep. Doggett Statement in Response to the Department of Justice's Answer Filed Today Regarding Texas Congressional Redistricting
“Like everyone who has studied it, except Governor Perry and his cohorts, the Justice Department simply recognized that this map is illegal. Communities of interest across this State have been wrongly divided by the Governor's crooked lines. Whether or not proposed CD 35, which contains the largest number of my current constituents, is specifically declared illegal, I believe that it may well be changed by necessary corrections to adjacent congressional districts.”
More statements below the jump.
The following is a statement from Texas Democratic Party spokesperson, Rebecca Acuña, on the DOJ's Refusal to Grant Preclearance to Texas House and Congressional Maps:
“It's a shame that Governor Perry and his Republican colleagues are more interested in protecting their own political futures than the voting rights of their constituents. We're thankful that the Department of Justice stepped in to protect the interests of Texans.
The Perry-signed state house and congressional maps attempted to diminish the political voice of the communities responsible for the state's population growth. The maps are a desperate attempt by Republicans to latch on to power by any means necessary.”