Lawsuit Challenges Texas Redistricting

Just as Latino leaders warned, battle lines are being drawn surrounding congressional redistricting and the new Census numbers. Texas is one of the first states to see controversy, which is not surprising given that the state stands to gain more Congressional seats than any other state in the union (4). Latinos accounted for the majority of the population growth in the state while the non-Hispanic white population dropped to 45.3 percent and blacks held steady at about 11.5 percent of Texas's population. 

Minority groups in general accounted for more than 80 percent of the increase in the state's population. Former U.S. Census Director and longtime Texas demographer Steve Murdock told the Associated Press, "The Hispanic growth has been even larger than we anticipated."

But some Texans refuse to accept this reality. Three local residents (rumored Tea Party members) are challenging the Texas redistricting in courts, basically filing a complaint that Latinos will have too much political power since undocumented immigrants may have been counted in the Census.

The statement reads: "Further, the inclusion of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Census might have the purpose and effect of strengthening the Hispanic vote, and if so this practice could violate the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution..." The obvious problem with this argument is that undocumented immigrants do not have the right or ability to vote in any U.S. election.

"As Census figures show, Texas is becoming more ethnically and racially diverse. Without the tremendous growth of the Hispanic community, Texas would have had very little growth," said Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, leader of the Senate Democrats. "Our gain of four new congressional seats is solely due to minority population growth."