Waxahachie Journal




Why Texas is Texas: A gerrymandering case cuts to the core of the state's transformation

By Jenny Jarvie

Why Texas is Texas: A gerrymandering case cuts to the core of the state's transformation

Civil rights groups descended on a San Antonio courthouse Monday to challenge the constitutionality of the state's current redistricting maps and accuse Republican legislators of deliberately drawing them to dilute the voting power of minorities.

The trial is only the latest round in a long-running Texas saga over gerrymandering and race.

Voting rights advocates have long accused Texas Republicans of working to undermine the growing political clout of Latino and African American voters by intentionally — and unfairly — cramming them into districts or splitting them up so they are outnumbered. Republican legislators still control roughly two-thirds of State House and Senate and congressional seats.

The legal battles began in 2011, when the Texas Legislature drafted new state and congressional boundaries.

The state had to redistrict because it earned four additional seats in Congress based on the 2010 census, which showed immense population growth. Most of that growth was from a massive influx of Latinos and African Americans.

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