Thursday, November 10, 2011
A three-judge court of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia this week denied preclearance under the Voting Rights Act to Texas's redistricting plans for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Texas House of Representatives, and the Texas State Senate. The court issued a brief order, with a memorandum to follow, simply saying that
Texas used an improper standard or methodology to determine which districts afford minority voters the ability to elect their preferred candidates of choice and that there are material issues of fact in dispute that prevent this Court from entertaining declaratory judgment that the three redistricting plans meet hte requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
The ruling sends the case to the District Court for the Western District of Texas to designate a substitute interim plan for the 2012 elections.