Paxton lauds ruling against preclearance for redistricting maps

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State Capital Highlights

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded a federal court ruling allowing the state to proceed with redistricting legislation without asking the federal government’s permission.

The July 24 ruling by a threejudge federal court rejected plaintiffs’ petition to require the state to obtain permission from the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court before re-districting legislation could take effect.

After the San Antonio-based panel ruled on the ongoing voting rights case, Perez v. Abbott, Paxton said, “This court ruling is a win for our Constitution and the right of Texans to gov-ern themselves.”

Paxton called the plaintiffs’ request for “bail-in” — that is, requiring proposed changes to voting laws and redistricting plans to be “precleared” by the Department of Justice — a “baseless challenge.”

The plaintiffs originally brought suit over redistricting plans Texas lawmakers adopted in 2011, claiming that plans were passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature to dilute the voting power of minorities. The Legislature repealed those plans in 2013 and adopted large-ly court-drawn plans. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 confirmed that the Legislature in 2013 fixed defects plaintiffs alleged to have existed in the 2011 plans.

 

 

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