Justice Department sues Texas over GOP-drawn voting maps

Jane C. Timm
A map of state Senate districts is seen on a desk in the Senate chamber on the first day of the 87th Legislature's third special session at the State Capitol on September 20, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
Tamir Kalifa | Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging Texas Republicans' plan for redrawing congressional and state legislative districts based on new census figures.

The lawsuit alleges that the state's new maps, in violation of the Voting Rights Act, "deny or abridge the rights of Latino and Black voters," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a press conference.

The maps were drawn with discriminatory intent, in a rushed process, with an "overall disregard" for the fact that Texas' population growth was driven almost entirely by Black and Hispanic residents, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said, speaking after Garland. The suit asks the court to stop the state from using the new maps in an election.

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This is the second lawsuit the Department of Justice has filed this fall against Texas. In November, the Justice Department sued Texas alleging that its new voting law, SB 1, made it harder to assist voters with disabilities or without English proficiency.

Throughout this year, Garland has urged Congress to pass new voting legislation, while vowing to use existing legislation to fight voting rights abuses.