Texas reaches accord with some Latino groups on new election maps
The Texas attorney general has reached an agreement with some minority groups on a plan aimed at resolving a stalemate over redistricting and minority representation in the state.
At least seven minority groups, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, known as MALDEF, agreed to the plan that they said minimized changes to the original redistricting maps drafted by the state’s Republican-run Legislature.
Those maps were tossed out last year by a panel of federal judges, who ruled that the congressional and legislative district boundaries did not reflect the growth of the Latino population.
But last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the judges failed to incorporate state lawmakers’ proposals. The high court told the San Antonio-based panel to try again, starting with the lawmakers’ boundaries.
The latest mapping plan, unveiled Monday, would add two new congressional districts around San Antonio and Dallas and two state legislative districts in El Paso and Houston that lean Latino.
“The proposed maps minimize changes to the redistricting plan passed by the Legislature and, as the U.S. Supreme Court required, makes changes only where necessary,” Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “Even though these proposed interim maps aren’t fully supported by all interest groups, modifications have been incorporated based on requests made by all parties.”
Nina Perales, MALDEF’s lead attorney on redistricting, said that while the compromise maps were “not perfect,” they “more fairly reflect the growing strength of Latino voters in Texas.”
Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times