Justice Department files suit against Texas over redistricting

The U.S. Department of Justice is taking legal action against the state of Texas over their newly redrawn congressional and state legislature maps. 

According to Fox News, the justice department is accusing the state of violating the federal Voting Rights Act by taking away the power in the votes of minority communities.

“The department’s career voting law experts have assessed Texas’s new redistricting plans and determined that they include districts that violate the Voting Rights Act,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit.

“This is not the first time that Texas has acted to minimize the voting rights of its minority citizens,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta added during the conference.

“Decade after decade, courts have found that Texas has enacted redistricting plans that deliberately dilute the voting strength of Latino and Black voters and that violate the Voting Rights Act.”

According to Fox News, the justice department is fresh off the heels of two other suits against the Lone Star State, including suits over another voting law that bans 24-hour polling locations and increases ID requirements.

The third suit was started by the DOJ in September over the state’s new legislation which outlaw abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, banning the vast majority of all abortions statewide.

“The Texas Heartbeat Act, or S.B. 8, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, prohibits all abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks, and also gives individuals the right to sue abortion clinics or those who help women get abortions in the state,” Fox News reported.

The Attorney General was joined by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta when he announced that the law was “clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent.”

“It does not rely on the state’s executive branch to enforce the law, as is the norm in Texas and everywhere else,” Garland said.

“Rather, the statute deputizes all private citizens, without any showing of personal connection or injury, to serve as bounty hunters, authorized to recover at least $10,000 per claim from individuals who facilitate a women’s exercise of her constitutional rights.”

“The obvious and expressly acknowledged intention of this statutory scheme is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights by thwarting judicial review for as long as possible,” said Garland.

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