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Biden DOJ Defends Minority-Majority District in Texas Redistricting Battle

Biden’s Justice Department Fights to Keep Galveston County’s Redistricting Map

President Joe Biden’s Justice Department is fighting to uphold the only minority-majority precinct in Galveston County, which could affect how the Voting Rights Act is interpreted and potentially harm South Texas Democrats and Democrats across the country. The local governing body drew a new map in 2021 that removed Precinct 3’s minority-majority status. This move has been in dispute, with the Biden administration and civil rights groups condemning it as discriminatory.

The flat change to the redistricting map in 2021 stirred controversy, as it removed the minority-majority status from Precinct 3. This precinct had been predominantly led by a black Democratic commissioner and comprised of black and Hispanic voters. These changes have sparked backlash from civil rights groups and the Biden administration, who argue that they undermine minority voting power. However, the local Republican commissioner, Mark Henry, contends that the Voting Rights Act is being misused as a political weapon by the Democrats.

 

Opponents of the new map argue that it violates the Voting Rights Act and shuts out black and Latino communities from the electoral process. However, defenders of the new map maintain that it aligns with Supreme Court precedent and does not undermine minority voting power. The ongoing legal battle has cost the county nearly $5 million in legal fees, which, according to Henry, is due to the Biden administration misusing the Voting Rights Act as a means to bully Republican legislators.

The future of the Voting Rights Act and the interpretation of Section 2 are at the center of this dispute. The ongoing litigation could place minority-coalition districts in a legal gray area and potentially harm Democrats who rely on such districts. The recent Supreme Court rulings on Section 2 disputes signal a precarious future for coalition districts, with potential implications for Democratic legislators in areas such as Harris County, Texas, and Georgia.

Written by Staff Reports

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