The Supreme Court should have rejected the lawsuit against Texas for having redistributed its electoral districts following the accepted rule of seeking an equal amount of residents per district. The Latino vote will be harmed if the plaintiffs reach their goal that only voters should be counted in drawing districts.
The plaintiffs argue that the current way to draw districts is unconstitutional because it is contrary to the one-person-one-vote principle. They say that the vote of a person in a district with less voters/citizens is worth more than a vote in a district with a large quantity of voters/citizens.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the claim, arguing that the plaintiffs “are relying upon a theory never before accepted by the Supreme Court or any circuit court.”
The claim stems from the conservative group Project on Fair Representation, which has taken legal action in numerous areas, from the ethnic and racial classifications of affirmative action in college education, to the federal Voting Rights Act.
Precisely, it is worrying that the Supreme Court has already diluted in a previous decision a key aspect of the electoral law that protects the right to vote. In agreeing to hear the case, the High Tribunal gives us reason to fear that the conservative judges will want to keep changing the law.
If the suit’s argument is accepted, the consequences for Latinos will be dire. The goal of drawing districts would be to arrange a similar amount of eligible voters, instead of emphasizing the creation of districts where minorities would be predominant (whenever possible) to increase the political representation of all residents.
The lawsuit’s goal is to stop the political growth of Latinos in Texas. They are trying to avoid by all means that the demographic wave that is changing the state’s face translates to the ballot box. Some states are using technicalities to try to restrict voting access under the excuse of so-called electoral fraud. In Texas the strategy is different, and very dangerous, because of the precedent it could set.
It is regrettable when in a democracy it is preferred to exclude whole sectors of society instead of trying to compete for their vote.