U.S. sues Texas, claiming that discriminatory rezoning dilutes black and Hispanic voting Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: The seal of the U.S. Department of Justice can be seen on the exterior of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.A. on August 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Authors: Sarah N. Lynch and Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters)-Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Texas on Monday, accusing the state of a plan to redistribute constituencies and deliberately discriminate against blacks and minorities by diluting their votes. Ethnic voters, this violates the Voting Rights Act.

“The complaint we filed today accuses Texas of violating Section 2 by establishing a reclassification plan that denies or denies Latino and black voters the right to vote because of their race, color, or linguistic minority membership,” Garland told reporters at the press conference.

In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the Department of Justice stated that the 2020 Census showed that Latinos are expected to become the state’s largest population group, with non-white Latino voters accounting for less than 40 percent of the state’s population.

“Shortly after the release of the 2020 Census data, the Texas State Assembly passed a re-division plan for the Texas State Congressional Delegation and the Texas State House of Representatives.

Very fast and opaque legislative process,” the complaint said.

“The absurd lawsuit by the Department of Justice against our state is the latest strategy of the Biden administration to control Texas voters,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Twitter (NYSE:) .

“I believe that our legislature’s decision to re-division of constituencies will prove to be legal, and this absurd attempt to shake democracy will fail.”

“These rezoning plans will reduce the chances of Texas Latino and black voters electing their preferred representatives,” Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a press conference announcing the lawsuit. “This is prohibited by federal law.”

Monday marked the second time this year that the Justice Department sued Texas for voting rights.

The Department of Justice sued Texas in early November https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-doj-files-lawsuit-against-texas-over-voting-curbs-law-2021-11-04 The law restricting mail-in voting claims that it improperly restricts voters with disabilities or voters who cannot read or write from getting enough help at the polling place.

Texas law, at the core of the first lawsuit, prevented officials from sending unsolicited mail-in ballot applications, making it more difficult to vote by mail. It also adds new identification requirements for mail voting, prohibits driving and 24-hour voting locations, restricts early voting, and limits who can help voters who need help due to a disability or language barrier.

Texas is the second state to be sued by the Justice Department in recent months for restrictive new voting rules.

Earlier this year, Garland announced that the department is filing a lawsuit against Georgia https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/us-sue-georgia-over-restrictive-new-state-voting-law-source- 2021-06-25 After it promulgated a new election law, the Justice Department said that the law violated the rights of black voters.

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