State of Texas: Supreme Court to hear challenge to Texas voting districts


The United States Supreme Court will hear a case this week that could potentially change who represents Texans in Congress and the state legislature.

Abbott v. Perez is the state’s effort to overturn a lower-court ruling that challenges the constitutionality of voting districts in Texas.

Texas re-draws voting lines every 10 years based on Census population counts. The groups suing the state say Republicans drew voting lines that take power away from minority voters.

District lines are usually drawn to benefit the party in power, which is legal. However, the question before the High Court is whether the Texas districts violate the Voting Rights Act by diluting the votes of minorities in Texas.

Groups suing the state cite examples that they say create certain districts with a heavy majority of black and Hispanic voters, with the effect of diminishing minority influence in adjacent districts.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, is the policy chair for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, and is one of the plaintiffs in the case before the Supreme Court. He says what Texas is doing is illegal.

“You have instances where the courts have said this is some intentional discrimination or there’s unconstitutional gerrymandering,” Rodriguez said in an interview on “State of Texas.”

The groups suing Texas say another problem this creates is one district with a heavy majority of black and Hispanic voters which can lower minority influence in other adjacent districts.

After a lower court ruled in their favor, the State fought back. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the maps are not discriminatory and his office appealed to the Supreme Court.

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