December 23rd, 2011
D.C. Court Issues Texas Redistricting Opinion

A federal court in DC issued an opinion in Texas’ redistricting mess yesterday and at least one expert termed it “a big lump of coal for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and a big win for Lloyd Doggett and Wendy Davis and minority groups.” Attorney Michael Li wrote a detailed post here, he noted that this is a big deal because, “the D.C. court’s opinion could have an impact in that case.”

UC Irvine Law Professor Rick Hasen said the opinion is significant for two main reasons:

First, and most importantly, the opinion provides strong reasons to think that Texas will not be able to obtain preclearance of its plans…

Second, the opinion is the first one (or one of the first ones) to answer some open questions about the meaning of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act since Congress amended it in 2006…

The Houston Chronicle said the opinion:

found that the state of Texas used an inappropriate standard to determine if districts would be able to elect minority candidates and said that the state’s lawyers had confused and misapplied Supreme Court precedent and the Voting Rights Act in a bid to make their case.

Here’s the opinion in its entirety.


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