Speed Reads

Voting Rights

Court rules 2 Texas congressional districts are unconstitutional

On Tuesday, a panel of three federal judges unanimously ruled that two Texas congressional districts violate the Constitution and federal Voting Rights Act.

In Congressional District 27, represented by Republican Blake Farenthold, Hispanic voters were "intentionally deprived of their opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice," the judges ruled, while District 35, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, was an "impermissible racial gerrymander" due to lawmakers using race as the main factor in drawing it.

"Intentional discrimination is a bad habit for the Texas Legislature," State Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Democrat and chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, told The Texas Tribune. "With the seventh ruling of intentional discrimination since 2011, a federal court confirmed today that Texas congressional maps remain unconstitutional." Lawmakers now need to redraw the districts in time for 2018 elections.