On October 18, 2021, a Texas resident currently incarcerated in a Texas prison filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Texas, Texas's Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State, and the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, challenging the state's treatment of incarcerated populations for the purposes of congressional redistricting and the state's newly enacted congressional plan as violating the U.S. Constitution. On April 1, 2020, (the day of the 2020 Census enumeration) plaintiff was incarcerated in a Texas correctional facility located in Congressional District 13, but plaintiff asserts that he intended to and still intends to, upon his release, return and permanently reside at his last known address in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is located in Congressional District 30. Plaintiff asserts that Texas decision to treat incarcerated individuals like himself as residents of their correctional facility rather than their last known addresses, despite the availability of a U.S. Census Bureau tool designed to reallocate those populations for redistricting purposes, violates the plaintiff's right to "equal representation" under Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution and his 14th Amendment right to Equal Protection under the law. Additionally, the plaintiff asserts that by enacting a plan that treats incarcerated persons as residents of their correctional facility rather than their last known residences, the state's congressional plan violates the one person, one vote constitutional principle and requirement that states made a "good-faith effort" to provide "as nearly as practical" equal representation to all persons enumerated in the Census. The plaintiff is seeking a declaratory judgment that Texas's enacted congressional plan is unconstitutional, an injunction barring the plan from being implemented or used in any future elections, any any other relief to which the plaintiff and others similarly situated are shown to be entitled to.
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; Voto Latino v. Scott; Mexican Am. Legislative Caucus v. Texas; Brooks v. Abbott; Fair Maps Texas Action Comm. v. Abbott; & Texas State Conf. of the NAACP v. Abbott.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division - No. 1:21-cv-943 [consolidated with 3:21-cv-259, 1:21-cv-965, 1:21-cv-988, 1:21-cv-991, 1:21-cv-1006, & 1:21-cv-1038]
- Complaint - 10/18/21
- Plaintiffs' Opposed Motion for Certification of Class Action - 11/8/21
- Order Constituting Three-Judge Court - 11/8/21
- Unopposed Motion to Set Responsive Pleading Deadline for All Named Defendants - 11/15/21
- Defendants' Unopposed Motion to Extend Deadline to Respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification - 11/18/21
- Order Consolidating Cases - 11/19/21