CASE SUMMARY

On November 3, 2021, a coalition of Latino and African-American Texans and an incumbent state senator filed a federal lawsuit against the Texas Governor and Secretary of State challenging the state's enacted state Senate redistricting plan as violating the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. The plaintiffs' complaint centers around two aspects of the state's Senate plan: its reconfiguration of Texas Senate District 10 and its division of Tarrant County. First, plaintiffs assert that the enacted Senate plan is intentionally racially discriminatory against Latino and African-American voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, and the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because the plan purposefully broke apart Texas Senate District 10, which had formerly been an effective "crossover" district for minority voters. Second, the plaintiffs assert that Senate District 10 is a racial gerrymander in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause because race was the defendants' predominant consideration when redrawing Senate District 10 such that traditional, race-neutral redistricting criteria were subordinated thereto. Finally, the plaintiffs assert that the plan's configuration of Tarrant County results in the dilution of African-American and Latino voting strength in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because the plan fails to draw a majority-minority coalition state Senate district in Tarrant County despite the minority populations therein being sufficiently large, geographically compact, and politically cohesive enough to create one. The plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment that Texas's enacted state Senate plan is unconstitutional and unlawful, that Texas Senate District 10 was improperly drawn with race as the predominant consideration, and that in failing to create an effective coalition district within Tarrant County, the plan violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. They are requesting an injunction barring the plan from being implemented or utilized in future elections, a court order establishing a deadline for the state to enact a new, lawful redistricting plan, and for the court to order a valid plan in the event the state fails to do so.

On November 19, 2021, the district court consolidated this case with several other pending challenges to Texas redistricting plans: League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Abbott; Wilson v. Texas; Voto Latino v. Scott; Mexican Am. Legislative Caucus v. Texas; Fair Maps Texas Action Comm. v. Abbott; & Texas State Conf. of the NAACP v. Abbott.

CASE LIBRARY

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division - No. 1:21-cv-991 [consolidated with 3:21-cv-259, 1:21-cv-943, 1:21-cv-965, 1:21-cv-988, 1:21-cv-1006, & 1:21-cv-1038]