On November 16, 2021, a coalition of civil and voting rights organizations and Texas voters filed a federal lawsuit against Texas's Governor and Secretary of State challenging the state's enacted congressional and legislative redistricting plans as violating the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. The plaintiffs allege that the enacted plans were enacted with the intention and effect of diluting the voting strength of minority groups across the state in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. They also assert that the plans are intentionally racially discriminatory against Black and Hispanic Texas voters in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Finally, plaintiffs claim that the plans are racial gerrymanders in violation of the 14th Amendment because race was the state's predominant consideration when deciding where to place various district boundaries in all three types of plans. Plaintiffs are seeking a judicial declaration that the enacted congressional and legislative plans violate the U.S. Constitution and federal law, an injunction barring the defendants from implementing or utilizing the plans in any future elections, for the court to adopt interim redistricting plans for the 2022 elections if needed, and for the court to otherwise require new, valid redistricting plans be adopted.
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; Brooks v. Abbott; & Texas State Conf. of the NAACP v. Abbott. On December 10, 2021, another case was consolidated with these challenges, United States v. Texas, and on December 15, 2021, Fischer v. Scott was consolidated as well.
On May 23, 2022, the district court issued an opinion and order dismissing several of the plaintiffs' claims on the grounds the plaintiffs either lacked standing or failed to state a claim. First, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' Section 2 claims in their entirety for failure to state a claim and, with respect to the challenged districts in the Dallas Forth-Worth area, for lack of standing. Second, the court dismissed all of the plaintiffs' intentional discrimination and racial gerrymandering claims for lack of standing except as to Congressional Districts 4, 6, 9, 26, 30, and 33; Senate District 22; and House Districts 33, 61, 66, and 89.
For a complete list of filings in this litigation, see the case page for League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Abbott.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division - 1:21-cv-1038 [consolidated with 3:21-cv-259, 1:21-cv-943. 1:21-cv-965; 1:21-cv-988; 1:21-cv-991; & 1:21-cv-1006; 3:21-cv-299; & 3:21-cv-306]
- Complaint - 11/16/21
- Order Constituting Three-Judge Court - 11/18/21
- Order Consolidating Cases - 11/19/21
- Memorandum Opinion and Order - 5/23/22