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Texas Voter ID

Texas Voter ID

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Published by Casey Michel

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Published by: Casey Michel on Aug 28, 2012
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12/30/2013

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA)STATE OF TEXAS, ))Plaintiff, ))v. ))Civil Action No. 11-1303(TBG-RMC-BAH)
 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,and ERIC H. HOLDER, in hisofficial capacity as Attorney Generalof the United StatesDefendants, and))))))Wendy Davis,
et. al.
,Intervenor-Defendants.)))))MEMORANDUM OPINION
Before: G
RIFFITH
,
 
Circuit Judge
, C
OLLYER
and
 
H
OWELL
,
 
 District Judges
.
 
Opinion for the Court filed by
Circuit Judge
G
RIFFITH
,
 
in which
 District Judge
H
OWELL
  joins and
 District Judge
C
OLLYER
joins all except section III.A.3. Separate opinion for the Courtwith respect to retrogression in Congressional District 25 filed by
 District Judge
H
OWELL
,
 
inwhich
 District Judge
C
OLLYER
 joins.Dissenting opinion with respect to retrogression in Congressional District 25 filed by
Circuit Judge
G
RIFFITH
.Appendix filed by
 District Judges
C
OLLYER
and H
OWELL
,
 
in which
Circuit Judge
 
G
RIFFITH
joins.
 
 2Opinion for the Court by G
RIFFITH
,
Circuit Judge
:
Table of ContentsI.
 
 3The latest Census reports that since 2000 the population of Texas grew by over fourmillion. This dramatic increase required the Texas legislature to create new voting districts forthe four se
ats added to the State’s congressional delegation,
U.S.
 
C
ONST
.
 
art. I, § 2, cl. 3;
id.
 amend. XIV, § 2, and draw new boundaries for the state and congressional voting districts tocomply with the mandate of one-person, one-vote,
see Georgia v. Ashcroft 
, 539 U.S. 461,488 n.2 (2003).Because Texas is a covered jurisdiction under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965(VRA), 42 U.S.C. § 1973, the Attorney General of the United States or a three-judge panel of 
this Court must approve, or “preclear,” any
redistricting plan before it can take effect.
 Id.
§ 1973c(a). Texas chose not to seek administrative preclearance and instead seeks from thisCourt a declaratory judgment that its redistricting plans will
neither have “the purpose nor will
have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or [languageminority group]
.”
 Id.
The United States opposes preclearance of the redistricting plans for
Texas’s congressional delegation and the State House of Representatives, but has
no quarrel withthe plan for the Texas Senate. Seven Intervenors raise a variety of challenges that collectivelyencompass all three plans. We conclude that Texas has failed to show that any of the redistrictingplans merits preclearance.
1
 
I.
 
Background
On July 19, 2011, Texas filed a complaint in this Court seeking a declaratory judgmentthat its newly enacted redistricting plans for the U.S. House of Representatives (Plan C185 or
1
Texas sought declaratory judgment that the three plans comply with section 5 in counts two, three, and fourof the complaint. In its first count, Texas also sought from this Court preclearance of its redistricting plan for theState Board of Education. No party objected to the plan, either in their written answers or during a conference callthe Court held with the parties on September 21, 2011. With no opposition and satisfied that the State Board of Education plan complies with section 5, we granted preclearance for that plan on September 22, 2011.
See
MinuteEntry Order, Sept. 22, 2011.

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