On November 3, 2021, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus ("MALC") of the Texas House of Representatives filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Texas and Texas's Governor and Secretary of State, challenging the state's enacted state House, State Board of Education, and congressional redistricting plans as violating the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. Specifically, plaintiffs assert that all three plans are intentionally racially discriminatory against Latino voters in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and are racial gerrymanders in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Additionally, plaintiffs claim that all three plans violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because they result in the dilution of Latino voting strength by strategically "cracking" and "packing" minority communities and inconsistently applying the state's redistricting criteria to limit and avoid drawing Latino and minority opportunity districts. Finally, the plaintiffs allege that the state House redistricting plan, with an overall population deviation of 9.98%, violates the 14th Amendment's one person, one vote constitutional principle because the deviation resulted from the state's selective under-populating of majority-White districts and over-populating of majority-Latino districts. The plaintiffs are seeking a judicial declaration that all three plans are unconstitutional and in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act, an injunction barring the plans from being implemented or used in future elections, and for the court to establish a schedule for adopting a remedial plan and, if the state fails to adopt one or more valid plans by such deadline, for the court to order the adoption of lawful redistricting plans.
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; Brooks v. Abbott; Fair Maps Texas Action Comm. 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 lacked standing or failed to state a claim. First, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' intentional discrimination claims for lack of standing except as to Congressional Districts 6, 15, 16, 18, 23, 27, 29, and 33; House Districts 34, 37, 38, 40, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 90, 103, 105, 140, 145, and 148; and Board of Education Districts 2 and 4. Second, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' racial gerrymandering claims for lack of standing and failure to state a claim except as to Congressional Districts 6 and 33 and Board of Education District 6. Finally, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' one person, one vote claims and Section 2 vote dilution claims in their entirety for failure to state a claim.
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 - No. 1:21-cv-988 [consolidated with 3:21-cv-259, 1:21-cv-943, 1:21-cv-965, 1:21-cv-991, 1:21-cv-1006, 1:21-cv-1038, 3:21-cv-299, 3:21-cv-306]