Merrick Garland Announces Department of Justice Will Try to Block Texas' Redistricting Plan

Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP

These United States are in the midst of creating new Congressional maps for the 2022 election. Things don’t look great for the Democrats. Not only did core Democrat states lose population because large numbers of their citizens voted with their feet, but those citizens also ended up in Red States. Making matters worse for the Democrats, in 23 states, the GOP controls the state legislature and the governor’s mansion. The Democrats only have that advantage in 14 states. So while Illinois Democrats can rejoice at forcing arch-conservative Adam Kinzinger from office, Texas gains two seats.

Naturally, the Department of Justice has entered the fray.

Good afternoon and thank you for coming. Today, the Justice Department has filed suit against the State of Texas for violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. As the Supreme Court has observed, a core principle of our democracy is that “voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.”

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act requires that state voting laws – including laws that draw electoral maps – provide eligible voters with an equal opportunity to participate in the democratic process and elect representatives of their choosing.

The complaint we filed today alleges that Texas has violated Section 2 by creating redistricting plans that deny or abridge the rights of Latino and Black voters to vote on account of their race, color or membership in a language minority group. In a moment, Associate Attorney General Gupta will describe our complaint in more detail.

As many of you know, in 2013, the Supreme Court effectively eliminated the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which had been the department’s best tool for protecting voting rights.

Earlier this year, I noted that this redistricting cycle would be the first to proceed since 1960 without the protection of preclearance. But I also said that the department would use all available authorities and resources to continue protecting the right to vote.

In September, the department published guidance based on decades of precedent explaining that Section 2 prohibits “vote dilution.” Vote dilution occurs when an electoral practice minimizes or cancels out the voting strength of members of a racial group or language minority group.

When we issued that guidance, I noted that discriminatory redistricting schemes are illegal and that the department would “assess jurisdictions’ compliance with those laws during this redistricting cycle.”

The department’s career voting law experts have assessed Texas’s new redistricting plans and determined that they include districts that violate the Voting Rights Act.

Last month, we filed a separate lawsuit against the State of Texas, alleging that Texas Senate Bill 1 improperly restricts the assistance voters who have a disability or who are unable to read or write can receive in the voting booth.

Last week, we filed a statement of interest in Arizona litigation to explain that private plaintiffs had plausibly alleged that certain new voting laws in that state were passed with a discriminatory purpose.

We also filed a statement of interest in Florida litigation explaining, among other things, that private parties can bring claims to enforce the Voting Rights Act. In all these matters, we have carefully assessed the facts and the law before taking action.

I am grateful to the dedicated staff of the Voting Section for their work today and every day to protect the right of all eligible citizens to vote.

Before I conclude, I want to again urge Congress to restore the Justice Department’s preclearance authority. Were that preclearance tool still in place, we would likely not be here today announcing this complaint.

Take a little bit of time to digest what this lackwit is saying. He is declaring that the most likely Texas map, one that adds five solid Democrat seats, prevents Black and Hispanic voters from actually voting.

His puppetmaster, Venita Gupta, presented her bill of specifics.

The right to vote is foundational to our democracy, and the Justice Department is charged with protecting that right. Today, we are filing suit against the State of Texas based on our determination that Texas’ 2021 Redistricting Plans violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The department reached that determination after a careful assessment of the facts and the law.

I want to thank the career staff of the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section for their tremendous efforts on this investigation.

Our complaint today alleges that the redistricting plans approved by the Texas state legislature and signed into law by the Governor will deny Black and Latino voters an equal opportunity to participate in the voting process and to elect representatives of their choice, in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Our complaint also alleges that several of those districts were drawn with discriminatory intent.

Texas’ 2021 redistricting plans were enacted through a rushed process, with minimal opportunity for public comment, without any expert testimony, and with an overall disregard for the massive minority population growth in Texas over the last decade. Texas’ population grew by 4 million people from 2010 to 2020, and 95% of that growth came from minority populations. Despite this significant increase in the number and proportion of eligible Latino and Black voters in Texas, the newly enacted redistricting plans will not allow minority voters an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice. Instead, our investigation determined that Texas’ redistricting plans will dilute the increased minority voting strength that should have developed from these significant demographic shifts.

For example, Texas will gain two new Congressional seats because of its population growth, almost all of which is due to growth in the state’s minority population. However, Texas has designed both of those new seats to have white voting majorities.

The congressional plan also deliberately reconfigured a West Texas district to eliminate the opportunity for Latino voters to elect a representative of their choice. This is the third time in three decades where Texas has eliminated a Latino electoral opportunity in this same district, despite previous court determinations that this violates the law.

And the State House plan eliminated Latino electoral opportunities by manipulating or eliminating districts where Latino communities previously had elected their preferred candidates.

These redistricting plans will diminish the opportunities for Latino and Black voters in Texas to elect their preferred representatives. And that is prohibited by federal law.

The complaint asks the court to prohibit Texas from conducting elections under the challenged plans and asks the court to order Texas to devise and implement new redistricting plans that comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The complaint also asks the court to establish interim plans pending a lawful state redistricting.

This is not the first time Texas has acted to minimize the voting rights of its minority citizens. Decade after decade, courts have found that Texas has enacted redistricting plans that deliberately dilute the voting strength of Latino and Black voters and that violate the Voting Rights Act.

The Attorney General has made clear that the Justice Department will not stand idly by in the face of unlawful attempts to restrict access to the ballot. Today’s filing demonstrates that commitment to this charge.

The Justice Department stands ready to protect the constitutionally guaranteed voting rights of Americans in Texas and indeed throughout the country.

A few thoughts on this.

First, this lawsuit is quintessential Gupta. Gupta believes our nation is racist and cannot see people beneath the color of their skin. She’s as vile a racist as ever wore a blue jacket and khaki trousers while marching near the US Capitol. In a sane society, she would not be unemployed; she would be unemployable. Here is Senator Tom Cotton describing her as her confirmation hearing was underway. Click this link for the text of his remarks.

In her world, elected offices are allocated under a racial spoils system and based on the idea that Black, Hispanic, or Asian citizens of the United States do not have representation unless someone of the same pigmentation represents them. Observe her claim that Texas got two new seats because of the increase of minority voters, and because of that, minority voters own those two seats. The idea that all outcomes must reflect racial and ethnic proportions is straight out of Critical Race Theory, reflecting the “equity” component of what the racist left calls “diversity, inclusion, and equity.” The entire theory is utterly obscene.

Second, this lawsuit is going nowhere. Unless Gupta has evidence that the Texas legislature drew these districts with race in mind–not just race as a proxy for party affiliation but actual race–the US government has engaged in a bad faith use of the legal system for partisan gain. As I said above, the new Texas map adds five solid Democrat seats to the Texas delegation, and the Supreme Court has ruled that drawing districts for partisan advantage is not reviewable by the courts. Again, I’ll refer you to a pile of screaming butthurt at the noted intellectual journal Vox.com for more background on that decision.

In my view, this lawsuit has one purpose. That is to delegitimize the Constitutional power of state legislatures to draw Congressional districts by making unfounded allegations of racism. The goal is to bring back the “salad days” when the Department of Justice wielded veto power over legislative districts in all or part of 15 states by the odious “preclearance” process. Better yet, the Democrats want to subject every election to federal oversight and procedures under the “John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021.”

One also can’t discount the role this lawsuit will play in the 2022 remake of the Democrat classic, “All Republicans Are Racists.” As I noted in my post on the Boebert vs. Omar beatdown (see Ilhan Omar Brags That Nancy Pelosi Will Strip Lauren Boebert of Her Committee Assignments and She’s Probably Right), Omar is using a joke where she is the punchline (she should be used to that by now, I mean how old is she?) to label Boebert and McCarthy as racists and islamophobes for poking fun at Suicide-Bomber-Americans.

Get ready to see a lot more of this as the Democrats gear up to turn the 2022 elections into a floating dumpster fire of malfeasance and orchestrated confusion the same way they did in 2020.