Senator Kirk Watson, chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, released the following statement today regarding the Texas redistricting decision by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia:
This afternoon, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia unanimously denied preclearance, or approval, for the three legislative election maps that Texas adopted last year. The three-judge panel determined that the original maps were retrogressive and/or drawn with discriminatory intent.
With regard to Senate District 10, represented by Senator Wendy Davis, the court said, “we conclude that the Texas legislature redrew the boundaries for SD 10 with discriminatory intent.”
This critical decision is a great victory for those who have fought – in the past year and over previous generations – to protect the right to vote. Those in control of the Capitol tried to limit the rights of our state’s diverse population and to dilute the strength of minority voices by carving communities into different districts. Fortunately, the court did not allow these actions to stand.
The November elections will proceed as planned under the interim maps approved by the federal court in San Antonio. While it is unclear what will happen beyond that, we hope that when it comes to redistricting, legislators will approach their task more fairly. Texas must do better to protect communities of interest and Texans’ right to elect the candidates of their choice.