Highlights from in and around the world of Texas politics
Minority rights groups on Thursday told federal judges that Texas needs new election maps for 2018, which would likely boost Democratic candidates, following three recent court findings that Republicans intentionally discriminated against Hispanic and black voters.
Redrawn districts in Texas could bolster Democratic efforts to reclaim Congress in the first midterm election under President Donald Trump. It could also swing seats in the Texas Legislature, where Republicans showed their dominance overnight Thursday, passing a ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” that empowers local police to enforce federal immigration law against anyone detained.
A three-judge panel in San Antonio did not immediately decide a next step. Since March, the same court has found intentional discrimination in both congressional and statehouse maps originally drawn by Republicans in 2011, a year after U.S. Census Bureau figures showed that minorities were driving Texas’ explosive growth.
The strict Texas voter ID law was found to be intentionally discriminatory earlier this month for a second time by a separate federal court in Corpus Christi.
“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure voters in Texas get a remedy for the 2018 election,” said Jose Garza, an attorney for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, which is among a coalition of minority groups challenging Texas’ voting laws.