Home / General / Texas flagrantly violated the 14th Amendment and the guaranty clause to guarantee one-party rule, and the Roberts Court will love it

Texas flagrantly violated the 14th Amendment and the guaranty clause to guarantee one-party rule, and the Roberts Court will love it

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The lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice in response to Texas’s most recent racial and partisan gerrymander is damning:

In 2020, Democrats seized national power, winning the White House and complete control of Congress. In 2021, Republicans are determined to make sure such a thing never happens again — and the plans they’ve been laying for decades are making that not only possible but likely.

Perversely enough, a new lawsuit filed by the Justice Department — exactly the kind of forceful action in defense of democracy and civil rights that liberals hope to see — shows just how successful Republicans have been. In fact, rather than being evidence that Democrats are fighting for voting rights, the suit mostly shows what a spectacular disadvantage they face.

The lawsuit charges that when Texas Republicans redrew their state legislative and congressional districts, they discriminated against minority voters by reducing their ability to elect representatives of their choice. The foundation of the claim is that while Texas grew enough over the past 10 years to be given two additional congressional seats, and about 95 percent of that population growth came among minorities, especially Latinos, Republicans redrew the districts to guarantee even more power to White voters.

The suit details a number of techniques the legislature used to dilute Black and Latino power, including the process of “cracking,” which splits an area where certain voters are concentrated and combines the parts with more heavily White districts. Imagine a pie with a largely minority city at its center, cut into slices that get larger as you move out toward the whiter suburbs.

For example, the lawsuit says that in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Republicans did this by “excising rapidly changing communities from DFW-based districts and attaching them instead through a narrow strip to several heavily Anglo counties.”

The suit documents multiple districts in which the power of minority voters was diluted. It notes that “in every redistricting cycle since 1970, courts have found that one or more of Texas’s statewide redistricting plans violated the United States Constitution or the Voting Rights Act.”

Roberts deliberately excluded racial gerrymanders from the partisan gerrymanders he (ridiculously) declared non-justiciable in Rucho. But since the only rule in voting rights cases that come before the Roberts Court is “Republicans win,” it won’t matter. And since it’s read the 15th Amendment out of the Constitution the DOJ can’t do anything else about it either. Whee!

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