DOJ: Texas Redistricting Discriminatory

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Court papers filed by the Department of Justice late Friday afternoon accuse the Texas redistricting plan signed by Governor Rick Perry of being drawn in a way that minimizes the impact of the minority vote. According to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, certain covered jurisdictions with a history of discrimination in voting—including Texas—must submit changes in election law to the Justice Department for “preclearance.”

Referring to Texas’ congressional redistricting plan, the filling states that while “The United States has not yet determined whether the proposed plan has any purpose or purposes that are prohibited by Section 5,” that “it appears that the proposed plan may have a prohibited purpose in that it was adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to Congress.” The crux of the Department of Justice’s argument is that, deliberately or not, two districts in Texas, 23 and 27, have been altered so as to reduce the influence of Latino voters in those districts. Since the Voting Rights Act prohibits changes that would have the “purpose or effect” of discriminating against minorities, DoJ is saying the plan violates Section 5.

As for whether or not this impact was by design, DoJ says they aren’t ruling it out, but that the “investigation is on-going.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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