On September 1, 2021, two sitting Texas State Senators and a Latino voting rights organization filed a federal lawsuit against the state's Governor and acting Secretary of State, challenging the state's current legislative maps as unconstitutionally malapportioned in violation of the one person, one vote requirement under the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. The plaintiffs claim, however, that under Article III, Section 28 of the Texas Constitution, which states "the Legislature shall, at its first regular session after the publication of each United States decennial census, apportion the state into senatorial and representative districts . . . " , the Texas Legislature is prohibited from adopting a new legislative redistricting plan during a special session; instead the Legislature must wait until its next regular session convenes in 2023 to do so. They also allege that the constitutional language forbids the backup redistricting authority, the Legislative Redistricting Board, from assuming control over legislative redistricting until the Legislature has had an opportunity to do so, and therefore new legislative districts will not be enacted prior to the upcoming 2022 elections. The plaintiffs are requesting a judicial declaration that the current legislative districts are unconstitutional, an injunction barring the current map from being utilized in future elections, and for the court to adopt interim plans for use in the 2022 election cycle.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division - No. 1:21-cv-769
- Complaint - 9/1/21
- Plaintiffs' Motion to Convene Three-Judge Panel - 9/1/21
- Order Constituting Three-Judge Court - 9/2/21
- Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction - 9/13/21
- Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Leave to Exceed Page Limits for Their Motion to Dismiss - 9/14/21
- Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or Abate Proceedings - 9/15/21