Following the 2010 census, the Texas State Legislature drew U.S. House of Representatives and Texas House of Representatives districts that weakened the voting strength of minority voters. Their goal was to ensure partisan advantage and the means of doing so was to make it harder for people of color to elect their candidates of choice. As the trial court ruled, this violates the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In 2012, the trial court drew preliminary remedial districts that were intended to be a temporary band-aid to address some of those obvious abuses in the maps. In 2013, the Texas Legislature adopted the court’s preliminary remedial maps by statute. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Texas’s appeal of the trial court decision, consolidated cases both titled Abbott v. Perez, on April 24, 2018. Common Cause filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff-appellees, which disputes Texas’s argument that the discriminatory intent found in its 2011 maps magically disappeared because the trial court drew new maps that left untouched many of the racially discriminatory districts.
On June 25, 2018, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s ruling and stuck down only one state legislative district as racially discriminatory.