How Texas Republicans are rigging the system against minority voters

Asia's Tech News Daily

Hello Fight to vote readers,

How Texas Republicans are rigging the system against minority voters
© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images

You don’t have to be an expert to see why Texas’ new maps for its state legislature and congress discriminate against minority voters. Ninety-five per cent of the state’s growth over the last decade has been driven by minorities. But the new maps Texas enacted don’t include a single new district where there is a Hispanic majority.

It’s an astounding fact that underscores how powerfully Texas Republicans have wielded the control they have over the once-a-decade redistricting process.

Republicans currently have a 23-13 advantage over Democrats in the congressional delegation, and the new map gives them a good chance to pick up the two extra seats.

The boundaries of several of the congressional districts Donald Trump barely won in 2020 have become safe GOP seats. I wrote about one of those districts, the 22nd congressional district a few weeks ago. The new map transforms it from one Trump won by about 1 percentage point in 2020 to one he would have carried by 16 points.

A few days before the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, approved the maps, I spoke with Nina Perales, a lawyer at the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (Maldef), who filed the first of two lawsuits challenging the maps, and who is one of the most widely respected redistricting attorneys in the country. I asked her to walk me through how exactly Texas Republicans had gone about entrenching control and what might happen next.

How Texas Republicans are rigging the system against minority voters
© Photograph: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images People rally to support voting rights at the Texas state capitol in Austin.

“These maps are intended to protect incumbents against the effects of demographic change,” said Perales, who has been involved in Texas redistricting cases for decades. “They’re also maps to kind of protect white voters and the power of white voters at the expense of clearly Latino voters, because Latinos are the large demographic that’s growing very quickly.”

Of the two new seats, “one is made into a white majority Republican seat. And the other one is made into a white-majority Democratic seat. So white people win and people of color don’t get anything,” she added.

Texas has a long history of discriminating against minority voters in redistricting – courts have struck down districts in every redistricting cycle since the Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965. For years a key provision of the act required Texas to get its maps pre-approved by the federal government before they went into effect. But the US supreme court gutted that provision in 2013. That means this year will be the first time since 1965 that Texas won’t have to get its maps pre-cleared before they go into effect.

That puts Perales and other people challenging the maps at a huge disadvantage. One reason is that the burden now falls on those who challenge the map to demonstrate why districts are discriminatory. Before, the burden was on Texas to show why the maps didn’t discriminate.

“Essentially, we have to prove race discrimination. That’s very hard to prove. The working assumption is always going to be that the state did not discriminate. And it’s our burden to establish that the state did discriminate. And courts are just very, very reluctant to accept the idea that a state actor has discriminated on the basis of race, even unintentionally.”

The new Texas districts should be the poster child that show why pre-clearance is still needed, Perales said. Given clear evidence of recent discrimination in redistricting, Texas should have a burden to show why the new plans don’t discriminate, Perales said.

Yet as they were drawing the districts, Republicans were already building a shield against claims that the maps were drawn with race in mind. “I’ve stated it, and I’ll state it again – we drew these maps race blind,” Joan Huffman, the GOP state senator, who oversaw the redistricting process in her chamber said during a public hearing.

Perales said that kind of claim was “a lie”.

“Do you think she was blind to the fact that the Rio Grande Valley is heavily Hispanic? Or the border region is heavily Hispanic? Do you think the historic wards of Houston, historic Black neighborhoods, that she’s somehow unaware of those things? It’s just not true,” she said.

When she testified at one of the legislature’s redistricting hearings, Perales urged lawmakers not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Afterwards she realized she had said something nearly identical during the redistricting cycle 10 years ago.

“I feel almost cursed,” she said. “I go to these hearings. I tell them about the cases that they’ve lost. I tell them not to repeat the mistakes. I tell them the plans are likely illegal. And they go ahead and do it anyway.”

Reader questions

Thank you to everyone who wrote in last week with questions. You can continue to write to me each week at sam.levine@theguardian.com or DM me on Twitter at @srl and I’ll try and answer as many as I can.

Andy in Washington writes: Are there mechanisms that can be put into place to help reduce lawsuits (such as those impacting election law) that have no sound basis before they drag through the courts? Asking this because we all watched as the Trump team put the legal system to task claiming election fraud, and lost over 50 of these cases. It was clear to most rational people what was going on, yet our legal system allowed this continuance of abuse of power to great detriment.

Yes, there are mechanisms in place that are supposed to hold bad-faith actors accountable in the legal system.

In August, a federal judge in Detroit sanctioned Sidney Powell and L Lin Wood, two attorneys involved in several of Trump’s post-election suits, for making bad-faith arguments. Powell and Wood were ordered to take legal education classes and pay attorneys fees to the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan. Rudy Giuliani also had his law license suspended in New York and Washington DC for spreading election lies.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Michigan: Student,15, kills three and wounds eight in Michigan school shooting

Michigan: Student,15, kills three and wounds eight in Michigan school shooting A 15-year-old boy opened fire in a Michigan high school on Tuesday killing three fellow students and wounding eight ... Read more »

Drug that could tackle Omicron variant approved by UK regulators

A drug treatment which, the makers say, works against the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been approved by UK regulators. Xevudy (sotrovimab), made by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has ... Read more »

Annual Covid-19 jabs are likely, says Pfizer boss

Annual vaccines to tackle Covid-19 are likely to be needed, the boss of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has said. Dr Albert Bourla said yearly vaccinations could boost population immunity, adding that ... Read more »

Turkey's Erdogan replaces finance minister amid economic turmoil

© Provided by Al Jazeera The lira has lost more than 40 percent of its value against the US dollar this year [File: Ozan Kose/AFP] Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ... Read more »

Fact Check: This was not Keshav Prasad Maurya rebuked by Yogi Adityanath on stage

A video of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has gone viral where he’s seen asking a person to move away during a public event. Several social media users have ... Read more »

UPSC CISF Recruitment 2021: Apply for various posts at upsc.gov.in, here's direct link, other details

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has issued a notification for the recruitment of candidates for over 19 posts of Assistant Commandants (AC). ... Read more »

Another smartphone from a popular Chinese manufacturer burst into flames, this time it's the Poco X3

© Twitter/ @Mahesh08716488 Another smartphone from a popular Chinese manufacturer burst into flames, this time it’s the Poco X3 A user’s Poco M3 caught fire and exploded last week. The ... Read more »

Govt taking cautious, balanced approach to normalising int'l flight ops: Jyotiraditya Scindia

The international travel and tourism sector in India will have to wait longer for a post-covid revival as the Union government is adopting a cautious approach to restarting international commercial ... Read more »

'Before Babur's Era, Everyone was a Hindu in India': At News18 Chaupal, Assam CM's Take on CAA

© Provided by News18 ‘Before Babur’s Era, Everyone was a Hindu in India’: At News18 Chaupal, Assam CM’s Take on CAA Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said ... Read more »

Restrictions to be imposed in malls, theatres in Bengaluru? Here's what BBMP said

© Provided by DNA The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), amid the new COVID-19 variant Omicron scare, has revealed that, as of now, there is no plan before the civic ... Read more »

Ambrane Launches Apple AirPods 3-Like Dots Tune Earbuds, Priced at Rs 2,199

© Provided by News18 Ambrane Launches Apple AirPods 3-Like Dots Tune Earbuds, Priced at Rs 2,199 Ambrane India has refreshed its audio portfolio with the new TWS earbuds dubbed Ambrane ... Read more »

IND vs NZ 2nd Test, Mumbai weather forecast: Will unseasonal rain stop play at Wankhede Stadium?

© Provided by DNA It is the return of Test cricket to the Wankhede Stadium after a gap of nearly five years and the venue will be now hosting the ... Read more »

I'm a Celebrity: Ant and Dec poke fun at Boris Johnson and Conservative Party in latest episode

© Provided by The Independent I’m a Celebrity viewers were left in hysterics as Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly mocked Boris Johnson in the latest episode. At the beginning of ... Read more »

Freddie Prinze Jr. won't star alongside wife Sarah Michelle Gellar again

Freddie Prinze Jr. will never star in another movie with his wife Sarah Michelle Gellar. © Bang Showbiz Freddie Prinze Jr won’t star alongside his wife Sarah Michelle Gellar in ... Read more »

Care workers: ‘It's an honour to do this job, but we feel burnt out and undervalued'

‘I loved the job – but I had to leave because of the stress’ Kiri Williams, 38, from Caerphilly, south Wales, left her job in a care agency after suffering ... Read more »

Russia orders some U.S. diplomatic staff to leave as embassy spat expands

FILE PHOTO: Vehicles drive past the embassy of the U.S. in Moscow MOSCOW (Reuters) –Russia said on Wednesday it was ordering U.S. Embassy staff who have been in Moscow for ... Read more »

At least 42,000 social care staff have left sector since April

There are fears of a ‘deepening crisis’ in the sector (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive) More than 40,000 social care staff have left the sector over the last six months, analysis ... Read more »

Alarming number of people still think HIV can be transmitted through kissing, study finds

In 2021, almost a third of people still think that HIV can be transmitted through kissing, according to new research released for World AIDS Day. The research was conducted by ... Read more »

Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Rangnick to sit in stands for Arsenal game, SHOCK Mancini link, Ronaldo FUMES at Ballon d'Or

RALF RANGNICK has been confirmed as the new Manchester United manager until the end of the season. The former Lokomotiv Moscow sporting director is also interested in RB Leipzig's £33m ... Read more »

Sajid Javid Insists Downing Street Followed Rules After Claims They Partied Last Christmas

The health secretary did not deny that the parties took place, but he said he was “not aware” of any and he did not attend them. (Photo: Anadolu Agency via ... Read more »

People should ‘Covid certify' before mixing at Christmas, says Jason Leitch

People are being urged to take lateral flow tests before mixing at Christmas (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive) People should informally “Covid certify” themselves before attending events and family gatherings this ... Read more »

Tara Singh Returns: Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel start filming 'Gadar 2'

© IANS Gadar 2. Mumbai, Dec 2 (IANS) Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel from ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ have reunited for the film’s sequel, 20 years after the blockebuster. The ... Read more »

Kumkum Bhagya, 2 December 2021, Written Update: Ranbir refuses to get married

© Provided by Pinkvilla In today’s episode, Prachi arrives at the Kohli residence and searches for Ranbir. Prachi asks the home staff about Ranbir. The servant informs her that Ranbir ... Read more »

Is Salman Khan invited to Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal's wedding? Arpita Khan makes the BIG reveal

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com From the past few days, one thing that has been in the headlines the most is Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal‘s wedding. We have read multiple ... Read more »

Tadap Premiere Was A Star-studded Affair: B-town Biggies Salman Khan, Kajol, Arjun Rampal In Attendance

Ahaan Shetty and Tara Sutaria starrer Tadap had a star-studded premiere last evening. Attended by the who’s who of the film fraternity, it is the first major film event post-Covid. ... Read more »

Adarsh Gourav grateful to Priyanka, Anupam Kher, Irrfan for paving the way to Hollywood

© IANS Adarsh Gourav. Mumbai, Dec 2 (IANS) Indian breakout star Adarsh Gourav, who has made a mark on the international scene, feels grateful that earlier Indian talents paved the ... Read more »

India tour of South Africa likely to be pushed back by one week amid Omicron scare

India’s tour of South Africa is likely to be postponed back by one week due to the threat of the COVID-19 Omicron variant as per a report in ANI. India ... Read more »

Kriti Sanon Apologises to Man Who Accused Actor of 'Ruining' His Life: 'Why Did You Do This?'

© Provided by News18 Mimi proved to be a milestone in the 7-year-long career graph of Kriti Sanon. The actress was hailed for her phenomenal acting by both critics and ... Read more »

Anupamaa: In Fresh Twist, Anuj's Ex-Girlfriend To Enter The Show, But There's a Catch

© Provided by News18 Hit Star Plus show Anupamaa will soon witness a major twist with the entry of Anuj’s ex-girlfriend. She will advise Anupama on how to impress Anuj ... Read more »

Ajaz Patel set for emotional return to city of birth: From Mumbai Indians net bowler to playing a Test at Wankhede

Ajaz Patel New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel is set for a nostalgic homecoming. The Mumbai-born cricketer left the Indian city when he was 8 years old and he will be ... Read more »

BWF World Tour Finals: Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy pair lose; Satwik-Chirag pull out due to injury

BWF World Tour Finals: Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy pair lose; Satwik-Chirag pull out due to injury Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth suffered a straight-game defeat in his second Group B match ... Read more »

Unvaccinated workers to be sacked under Anglo American plans

The mining giant Anglo American is planning to dismiss staff who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid, including those in the UK, The Telegraph can reveal. © Provided by The ... Read more »

TikTok's Glasses Concealer Hack Is Ridiculous But It Banishes Dark Circles

Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok’s viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test. I’ve tried my fair share of ridiculous TikTok beauty ... Read more »

100 Amazon Fashion Gifts For Everyone On Your Christmas List

Sure, shopping for Christmas presents is fun. It’s exciting playing Santa, trying to second-guess what your loved ones want and how they’ll react on Christmas Day. But it can also ... Read more »

Covid jab factory gets £400m expansion boost

A North East factory that has been making coronavirus vaccines is set for a £400m expansion. © Scott Heppell /PA Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant Billingham Teesside Novavax vaccine – Scott ... Read more »

Mets' Starling Marte always wanted to play with Robinson Cano

Sure, there were 78 million reasons for Starling Marte to choose the Mets. There also was a long-held hope to join together with another star from the Dominican Republic. “I ... Read more »

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Star Health IPO subscribed 37%, QIB portion booked 32%

© Kshitij Anand Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Star Health IPO subscribed 37%, QIB portion booked 32% The public issue of Star Health and Allied Insurance Company continued to see muted response from ... Read more »

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's pre-debate COVID-19 test sparks criticism

Former President Trump To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: https://bit.ly/30ARS1U To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/2UoupvN –> ... Read more »

Radhe Shyam Nagumomu Thaarale song: Prabhas & Pooja Hegde give retro vibes as they enjoy the ride of love

© Provided by Pinkvilla The much-awaited love anthem from Prabhas’ pan Indian film Radhe Shyam is out in all South languages. Titled Nagumomu Thaarale in Telugu, the song follows the ... Read more »

Trump had positive COVID test before event with Gold Star families: book

Shortly after he contracted COVID in fall 2020, then-President Donald Trump suggested he may have gotten the virus from a White House event with Gold Star families with whom he ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic