Court again finds in­ten­tional voter dis­crim­i­na­tion in Texas

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

AUSTIN | A Repub­li­can-drawn map set­ting the bound­aries of Texas’ state­house districts vi­o­lates the U.S. Constitution by in­ten­tion­ally dis­crim­i­nat­ing against mi­nor­ity vot­ers, a fed­eral court found Thurs­day — the third such rul­ing against the state’s vot­ing laws in roughly a month.

The lat­est rul­ing means Texas’ strict voter ID law, con­gres­sional maps and state leg­isla­tive maps — all of which were en­acted in 2011 — have re­cently been found in vi­o­la­tion of the fed­eral Vot­ing Rights Act.

For Texas, the stock­pil­ing losses carry the risk of a court pun­ish­ing the state by de­mand­ing ap­proval be­fore chang­ing vot­ing laws.

The process, known as “pre­clear­ance,” was for­merly re­quired of Texas and other states with a his­tory of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion be­fore the U.S. Supreme

Court in 2013 struck down the heart of the Vot­ing Rights Act.

But the court kept in place the chance that states could again fall un­der fed­eral over­sight if in­ten­tional dis­crim­i­na­tion is found.

Mi­nor­ity rights groups and Democrats could press a three-judge panel in San An­to­nio over that pos­si­bil­ity at a court hear­ing later this month in San An­to­nio.

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