Texas’ Controversial Maps: Democrats and Republicans Comes Face to Face Again
The top two political parties of the United States are face to face once again in an electoral brawl, with the Department of Justice suing Texas for abusing its power while drafting new congressional maps.
Texas, which led the efforts of curbing the voices of the masses for passing controversial voting rights bills, has come into the limelight recently along with Georgia, where voter suppression was already at its peak.
Violation of the Voting Rights Act: Texas Voter Suppression at Its Best
The population of Texas grew significantly recently, primarily due to the huge spike in people of color shifting to the state.
Followed by the 2020 census, the Texas Congressional tally was increased from 36 to 38, an addition of two seats, which Republicans considered a blessing for them.
This paved the way for the incumbent elites to adjust these two seats in a way that gives maximum return to Republicans.
Despite the fact that the population increase was due to people of color, the new seats are adjusted in counties with a predominantly white population. Thus, Biden found in it an opportunity to sue the state of Texas for violating the voting rights act.
The voting rights Act of 1965 is clear in outlawing discrimination based on color.
Section 2 of the Act prohibits any state or the federal government from enacting any law that is racially motivated and defies the principle of free and fair voting.
Thus, for Texas Republicans, this is a sign of worry as the court could overturn the maps approved by the Republican-dominated legislature.
People of Color Migrated to Texas, but Whites Get More Voting Freedom
Seeing the data, the court should have an easy case ahead of it. Nearly 8.3 million more people reside in Texas today compared to the beginning of the 21st century. Of this massive amount, 7.6 million are people of color. Thus, almost 91% of the new people that came to Texas since 2000 are people of color.
This unusual migration to Texas has posed an unprecedented challenge to the Texas authorities as well. For instance, now the number of Latino and white Americans in Texas is roughly equal, i.e., 39 percent each.
Similarly, Black and Asian Americans comprise almost 12 and 5.4 percent of the state’s population, respectively.
However, the data does not reflect in the new maps of Texas at all. Nearly 65 percent of Texas’s newly approved maps have white people in the majority, which suggests that the maps are indeed politically driven.
Digging down to the core of the newly filed lawsuit, the DOJ specifically pointed out the 23rd Congressional District that encompasses areas ranging from El Paso to San Antonio, with most of the state’s international border included in it.
However, the Texas government has disenfranchised those Latino areas from the district that reported high voter turnout in the past while including those with low voter turnout. This, in turn, will significantly concentrate whites’ voting power by discriminating against people of color.
Texas Republicans have tried significantly to carry out a two-tiered approach, including superficially orchestrating boundaries and completely disenfranchising some voters in many instances.
In the last redistricting cycle in 2010, Texas was subjected to federal approval for its maps. However, the Supreme Court struck down that provision in 2013, giving the state of Texas the go-ahead in suppressing the voices.
Texas has often come into the limelight for suppressing voters. The DOJ also sued the famous SB 1 bill of Texas, which banned early voting and mail-in ballots in many areas, measures that are supposed to help the Republican party.
While the people of color may fancy Texas as their next destination, their voting rights in the state are not protected at all, which raises the eyebrows of many stakeholders.