LULAC Gets Its Day In Court

U.S. Supreme Court to hear LULAC v. Perry

Contact: Brenda Alvarez, (202) 833-6130

Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) will get its day in court as the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of the controversial Texas congressional redistricting map. LULAC filed a lawsuit challenging the Texas legislature’s redistricting plan, which was spearheaded by former House Majority Leader Tom Delay, on the grounds that it violated the Voting Rights Act of the Latino community in Texas.

LULAC has an unyielding policy that justice should not be blinded at the expense of American citizens. Decisions by political officials should be based on legal facts that protect the interests of all Americans, particularly disadvantaged minority groups. The redistricting plan is retrogressive and if not overturned will roll back Latino political gains in Texas.

“We’re elated to know that we still have another opportunity to challenge what we consider to be a blatant, illegal and partisan maneuver to weaken the Hispanic and black vote,” said Hector Flores, national president of LULAC. “However, we remain appalled at the political gerrymandering that occurred in 2003 and the conscious effort by political appointees to divert justice by overriding the recommendations of those most knowledgeable in the field of the voting rights law.”

Flores continued: “The disingenuous promoters of the redistricting plan have made no secret of the fact that this is a flagrant attempt to increase their numbers in Congress at the expense of the voting rights of the Latino community in Texas. Attempting to gloss over these partisan motivations with dubious claims of increased Hispanic representation is offensive, misleading and cynical.”

Career attorneys from the Justice Department ruled that the plan illegally diluted the Hispanic and black voting power in two congressional districts, as well as eliminate several other districts in which minorities had a substantial influence in elections. After political appointees overruled six lawyers and two analysts from the Justice Department, the plan passed through the Legislature and shifted the partisan balance in the state’s congressional delegation from a 17-15 Democratic majority to a 21-11 Republican majority after the 2004 elections. This decision resulted in Texas Republicans gaining five seats in the U.S. House in the 2004 elections and solidifying GOP control of Congress.

Supporters of the plan emphasize that the redistricting map helped to elect one additional black congressman. Although LULAC applauds the election of a minority leader, it remains certain this decision has limited Hispanic representation. LULAC will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask the court to overturn this unprecedented decision.

“We have a fervent hope that when the Supreme Court revisits this issue, they will act prudently and impartially, as well as recognize that the political actions stimulated by DeLay and his cronies are illegal and are not in the best interest of Texas or our country,” said Luis Vera, general counsel of LULAC.

The League of the United Latin American Citizen (www.lulac.org) advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

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