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How the Texas Republicans Manipulate the System Against Minority Voters | Texas

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You don’t have to be an expert to understand why Texas State Legislature and the new map of Congress discriminate against minority voters. 95% of the state’s growth over the last decade has been driven by minorities.But the new map Texas The enactment does not include a single new district with a majority of Hispanics.

This is a surprising fact that emphasizes how powerful the Texas Republicans have exercised control over the once-in-a-decade constituency change process.

Republicans are now a parliamentary delegation with 23 to 13 advantages over Democrats, and a new map gives them Two additional sheets..

The borders of several parliamentary districts, where Donald Trump barely won in 2020, have become safe Republican seats.Me Wrote about One of those districts, the 22nd parliamentary district a few weeks ago. The new map will convert from one playing card that earned about 1 percentage points in 2020 to a playing card that should have earned 16 points.

A few days before Texas Governor Greg Abbott approved the map, I filed the first of two proceedings to challenge the map, Nina Perales, a lawyer for the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund (Maldef). I talked to him. The most widely respected constituency change lawyer in the country. I asked her to explain exactly how the Texas Republicans gained control and what would happen next.

“These maps aim to protect incumbents from the effects of vital changes,” said Perales, who has been involved in the Texas constituency change case for decades. “They are also maps to protect the power of white and white voters, apparently at the expense of Latin voters. Latin is a very fast-growing, large-scale demographic. That’s why. “

Of the two new seats, “one will be the Republican seat for the majority of whites, and the other will be the Democratic seat for the white majority. Therefore, whites will win and colored people will not get anything. “Hmm,” she added.

Texas has a long history of discriminating against minority voters in changing constituencies. Since the Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965, courts have withdrawn districts throughout the cycle of constituency changes. The federal government before they came into effect. However, the US Supreme Court revoked that provision in 2013. In other words, it’s the first time since 1965 that you don’t have to clear the map in advance before Texas goes into effect.

As a result, Perales and others are at a great disadvantage in challenging the map. One of the reasons is that it puts a strain on those who disagree with the map to show why the district is discriminatory. Previously, Texas was responsible for showing why the maps were indistinguishable.

“In essence, we have to prove racism. It’s very difficult to prove it. A practical assumption is that the state has always not discriminated against. And It is our responsibility to prove that the state has discriminated against, and the courts are very very reluctant to accept the idea that state officials discriminated even unintentionally based on race. Is the target. “

According to Perales, the new Texas area should be the child of a poster showing why prior permission is still needed. Given the clear evidence of recent discrimination in constituency changes, Texas should be responsible for showing why the new plan does not discriminate, Perales said.

But when they were painting the district, Republicans had already built a shield against the claim that the map was drawn with race in mind. “I said it, and I say it again-we drew these maps in the race blinds,” said Republican State Senator, who oversaw the repartitioning process for her room. Joan Huffman Said at the hearing..

Perales said such a claim was a “lie.”

“Do you think she didn’t know the fact that the Rio Grande Valley is terribly Hispanic? Or is the border area terribly Hispanic? Houston’s historic ward, historic black neighborhood, she somehow they Don’t you think you’re unaware of that? That’s not true, “she said.

When she testified at one of Congress’s constituency change hearings, Perales urged lawmakers not to repeat past mistakes. Later, she realized she said almost the same thing during the constituency change cycle 10 years ago.

“I feel almost cursed,” she said. “I go to these hearings. I tell them about the incident they lost. I tell them not to repeat the mistake. I tell them that the plan is probably illegal. And they go ahead and do it anyway. “

Reader’s question

Thank you to everyone who wrote the question last week. Write a letter to sam.levine@theguardian.com every week or send a DM on Twitter @srl. I will try to answer as many as possible.

Andy of Washington wrote: Is there a mechanism that can be implemented to reduce proceedings that have no sound basis (such as proceedings that affect election law) before going through court? We all watched the Trump team put the legal system on the mission of claiming fraud and lost more than 50 of these cases, so we asked for this. It was clear what was happening to most rational people, but our legal system allowed this continued abuse of power to cause great damage.

Yes, there are mechanisms in the legal system that make malicious actors accountable.

In August, a federal judge in Detroit called on two lawyers, Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood, who were involved in some of Trump’s post-election proceedings. Malicious argument. Powell and Wood were ordered to take a legal education class and pay legal fees to the city of Detroit and Michigan.Rudolph Giuliani too His legal license has been suspended In New York and Washington DC to spread election lies.

How the Texas Republicans Manipulate the System Against Minority Voters | Texas

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