by Amaury E. Nora of Somos Tejanos for The Daily Grito
MALDEF and the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force and sixteen individual Latino voters (among other litigants) moved to intervene in a court case that could help determine the makeup of the next Congress. Their goal is to throw out the redistricting plans and force Texas to draw new boundaries.
The decision by U.S. Department of Justice answered the complaint and stated that the United States would oppose pre-clearance of the State House and congressional redistricting plans. The State House and congressional redistricting plans are also the subject of a federal court challenge in Texas that was filed by MALDEF on behalf of its clients. The lawsuit argues that the State House and congressional redistricting plans discriminate against Latinos by diluting their voting strength. The two-week trial in that case ended Friday, September 16.
In an exclusive interview, Joe Cárdenas III, LULAC’s state director, wrote “If the February 17th census report release was an indication of the political transition that Texas is currently undergoing, then today’s ruling is proof that the political future of Texas is squarely in the hands of Latinos.”
Some feel the Justice Department’s decision could influence the court’s decision. On the political side, some feel Justice Department’s decision is political maneuvering from the Obama administration to show how hard the president is willing to fight for Latino voters.