On Thursday, a federal court found that a Republican-drawn map setting the boundaries of Texas’ statehouse districts violates the U.S. Constitution by intentionally discriminating against minority voters. This is the third such ruling against the state’s voting laws in roughly a month. The three laws that have been found in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act are laws relating to Texas’ strict voter ID law, congressional maps and state legislative maps, all enacted in 2011. This means that a court could reinstate the process of preclearance, which would require Texas to get federal approval before changing any voting laws. The latest decision concerns how districts were drawn by Republicans for the state House of Representatives. In a 2-1 ruling, federal judges again found signs of racial gerrymandering and evidence that Republicans intentionally diluted the growing electoral power of minorities around Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and elsewhere.
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