D.C. Court Denies Texas’ Request for Quick Approval of State Redistricting Plans

This morning, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. denied a request by Texas for approval of the State’s congressional, Texas House and Texas Senate redistricting plans without conducting a trial to determine whether these plans were drawn with the intent or effect of diminishing the ability of minority voters to elect the candidates of their choice.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, on behalf of the Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches and in conjunction with the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and the League of United Latin American Citizens, offered briefing and oral argument to the court on November 2, 2011, urging the court not to approve the redistricting plans because the plans are unfair to Black and Latino voters.
Because of the Court’s ruling, the state’s enacted redistricting plans for Congress, State House, and State Senate cannot be used for the 2012 elections. A federal district court in San Antonio will now draw interim redistricting plans for 2012 elections. The court in San Antonio has already conducted hearings on those interim plans, in which SCSJ presented information to the court on how to draw plans that would be fair to minority voters.