DOJ releases emails showing Texas GOPs attempt at gerrymandering to marginalize Hispanic voters
The feds say there’s ‘ample circumstantial evidence’ that the redistricting maps signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry had the effect and intent of limiting the voting power of Hispanic voters. But what’s the evidence exactly? Let’s take a look.
The most telling evidence Justice Department lawyers cite in terms of the state redistricting maps is a comment from state Rep. Beverly Woolley, who led the redistricting process in Harris County (an effort which excluded any minority members of the Harris County delegation). ‘[Y]ou all are protected by the Voting Rights Act and we are not,’ Woolley told a number of minority representatives. ‘We don’t want to lose these people due to population growth in the county, or we won’t have any districts left.’
In another instance, Rep. John Garza told Rep. Joe Farias that he needed ‘more Mexicans in [his] district’ but rejected areas where Hispanics were politically organized.
DOJ’s expert report also cites emails to and from Rep. Lamar Smith, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee which oversees DOJ. The expert says the emails make it clear that ‘racial as well as political data were most accurately driving the line drawing.’