Recent Rulings That Texas' Voting Laws Discriminate Put Pressure on the State, But Long Road Ahead

AUSTIN — Texas has spent six years locked in legal battles over a controversial voter identification law and its congressional and statehouse district maps.Then, starting March 10, federal judges issued three consecutive rulings against the state. The first, from a district court in San Antonio, invalidated three congressional districts when it found that the Legislature drew the state's congressional maps with the intent to discriminate against minority voters.Weeks later, a federal judge in Corpus Christi upheld a finding that Texas' voter ID law was written with the same intent. And on Thursday, the San Antonio court ruled that legislators drew the 2011 statehouse maps with the intent to dilute minority voting strength.“It’s the third strike against Texas in a matter of weeks,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and a lead counsel for the Latino organizations in the redistricting case. “[The laws have] been found not just to have discriminated as a side effect, but these are three decisions finding that Texas intentionally racially discriminated against minority voters.”  Continue reading...

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