LULAC Urges the Supreme Court to Support the Decision of a Federal Court Panel in San Antonio
November 29, 2011
Contact: Paloma Zuleta, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 812-4477
Washington, DC – Citing violations of the Voting Rights Act, LULAC is currently pursuing litigation in Texas, New Mexico, Georgia and soon in Alabama maintaining that the political maps drawn by GOP lawmakers do not reflect the growth in the states' Hispanic and black populations. Texas, in particular, will receive four additional Congressional seats as a result of the 2010 Census which indicated that the Texas population grew by four million and Hispanics comprise 65 percent of that growth.
“As a matter of fundamental fairness, districts that experienced an increase in Hispanic populations should have been drawn in a manner that would also create four new Latino performing districts,” said LULAC Counsel Luis Roberto Vera, Jr.
On November 17, 2011, a federal court panel consisting of three judges in San Antonio issued redistricting maps that sided with LULAC, MALC, NAACP and the Latino Taskforce, represented by MALDEF, and other individual plaintiffs in drawing new maps for both the Texas House of Representatives, and Texas US Congress.
With regard to the Texas Senate, LULAC was the only plaintiff representing Texas Senator Wendy Davis from Senate District 10 where the legislature removed 250,000 Latino voters from the district, setting the stage for the candidate’s absolute defeat. LULAC successfully persuaded the court to restore the 250,000 Latino voters to District 10.
With regard to the Congressional seats, the new coalition in the Dallas/Fort Worth area map which was drawn by LULAC, District 25, and represented by Congressman Lloyd Doggett, was restored to almost its original boundaries. Also, in place of Congressional District 35, LULAC was the only plaintiff that fought and was successful in reuniting South and Southeast San Antonio with South and Southeast Bexar County, as a Latino voting bloc.
In the Texas House of Representatives, LULAC joined with MALC, in its fight regarding the redistricting of the Texas House of Representatives. With these efforts, LULAC, MALC and the Latino Taskforce (MALDEF) were successful in convincing the Federal Court to redraw six new Texas House of Representative Districts.
“The desperate appeal by the Texas Governor and the Texas Attorney General to the Supreme Court to intervene and set aside maps legally drawn by a federal court panel is a blatant disregard for the process established by the lawmakers and followed by organizations like LULAC. Such organizations have labored to follow the letter of the law and fought to ensure that the Hispanic population has an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran.
About LULAC: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating nearly 900 LULAC councils nationwide.