The new map for congressional districts in Texas signed by Gov. Rick Perry (R) discriminates against Hispanic voters, the Department of Justice said in a federal court filing.
The Obama administration is opposing implementation of the map and asking the court to stop it. The filing followed a review of the map by the federal attorneys that found that almost one-half million Hispanics would live in districts where they would be unable to elect a minority candidate.
"The state chose not to propose any new additional minority ability-to-elect districts and removed hundreds of thousands of minority voters from districts in which they could elect candidates of choice," even though Texas is getting four new House seats due largely to Hispanic population growth, the Justice Department wrote. "This suggests both possible dilution as well as possible retrogression of minority voting strength in Texas."
Texas is one of many states still completing the once-per-decade redistricting process that follows the U.S. Census. Under the Voting Rights Act, the federal government has oversight authority over maps in states with a history of discriminating against minorities through the voting process.