DOJ sues Texas county over new redistricting plan
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DOJ sues Texas county over new redistricting plan

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Thursday filed a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act against Galveston County, Texas, challenging a redistricting plan that allegedly discriminates against Black and Hispanic voters.

The redistricting plan was adopted by the county on November 12, 2021 after the data from the 2020 Census was released. In the complaint, the US asserts that the redistricting plan is in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because the county allegedly “deliberately reconfigured the Commissioners Court’s sole, longstanding minority opportunity-to-elect district to eliminate Black and Hispanic voters’ opportunity to elect a representative of their choice.”

The challenged redistricting plan split the majority-minority district between two other commissioners court precincts, moving the district out of where it had been for 20 years. The complaint states that the county adopted the now plan with a “discriminatory purpose” and has “both the result and intent of diluting the voting strength of the County’s minority voters.”

The US further asserts that for the past three decades, Galveston County has sought to diminish or eliminate Black and Hispanic voters’ electoral opportunities on multiple occasions.

The complaint requests that the court block the county from using the challenged plan for elections and that the court order the county to create a new redistricting plan to replace the challenged plan. This lawsuit is the third time the DOJ has filed a lawsuit in Texas over voting issues during the Biden administration.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division stated: “This action is the latest demonstration of the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the voting rights of all Americans, particularly during the current redistricting cycle. We will continue to use all available tools to challenge voting discrimination in our country.”