Texas v. United States

Voting Rights
People advocating for their voting rights. A man holds a large sign that says "Don't Block the Vote."

Case Summary

Texas v. United States in the District Court for the District of Columbia
Filed 09/06/2011
Decided 08/18/2015
Updated 06/07/2024

At the same time that its legislative and Congressional plans were being challenged under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the State of Texas sought preclearance under Section 5 of the VRA in the District Court for the District of Columbia. Southern Coalition for Social Justice, along with co-counsel Gary Bledsoe, Robert Notzon, and the NAACP, represented the Texas NAACP and individual citizens opposing preclearance of the plans because certain districts harmed the rights of minority voters. At trial in 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied preclearance for each of the plans. The evidence SCSJ presented was critical to a finding of intentional discrimination by the trial court.

The U.S. Supreme Court deemed the case moot in light of the decision in Shelby v. Holder, which struck down the preclearance requirement in the Voting Rights Act.

Why it's Important

This case was important to protect minority voters who would have been harmed by Texas' redistricting plans at the time. The U.S. Supreme Court decision removing the preclearance required by Section 5 of the VRA marked a turning point for the worse in voting rights, particularly across the South.

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