LULAC Heeds Order Of Federal District Judge To Keep Conversations Ongoing And Resolve The Matter In A Collaborative Manner
February 7, 2012
Contact: Paloma Zuleta, email@example.com, (202) 812-4477
Washington, DC – Pursuant to U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia's order, LULAC has re-affirmed its commitment to try to resolve this matter through negotiations. LULAC continues to support an agreement that would result in four new Congressional seats, which accurately reflects the growth of the Hispanic population in Texas, and will resist any self-serving proposals which ignore what is in the best interests of the Hispanic community.
“As a result of the Supreme Court decision, the plaintiffs now have the necessary leverage to fight for a redistricting plan that is fair to the Hispanic community,” said National LULAC President Margaret Moran. “Yesterday's proposal by the Texas Attorney General not only failed to win the Court's support; it also exposed his vulnerability when not dealing in good faith.”
In drafting its redistricting plan, Texas ignored the precedent found in the 2004 U.S. Supreme Court case Larios v. Cox 159 L. Ed. 2d 831, 833 whereby a 7 - 10% deviation in maps was still found to be infringing on minority voting rights. The Texas House redistricting plan adopted by the Texas House of Representatives has a total or top to bottom deviation of 9.9%.
“LULAC National along with MALC, NAACP, the Dutton Group, and the Travis County Interveners maintain that the maps put forward by the Attorney General still included portions that diluted the Hispanic voting power,” said Luis Vera LULAC National Attorney. “Per court order, the maps must be drafted in a collaborative effort between the plaintiffs and the Texas Attorney General. Otherwise, we’re back with the discriminatory maps that were first introduced by the Texas Legislature.”
Section Five of the Voting Rights Act requires that legislative-drawn maps be pre-cleared by the Department of Justice before they are put into effect. Because the state’s map has not yet been cleared, it cannot go into effect and be used in the 2012 election. This will delay voting in primary elections in the state of Texas.
About LULAC: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 900 LULAC councils nationwide.