Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Play

The Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law, Florida educators decry classroom politicization, and Colorado River water for Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada will be cut as reservoir levels drop.

Play

President Biden signs Inflation Reduction Act, voters cast primary election ballots in Alaska and Wyoming, and Republicans are calling for the FBI to be defunded, in the wake of the agency's search of Mar-a-Lago.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Lawsuit Claims Texas Redistricting Maps Disenfranchise Minority Voters

Play

Friday, November 19, 2021   

AUSTIN, Texas -- Legal challenges are piling up in Texas over newly-drawn congressional and legislative district maps, with the latest alleging they disenfranchise people of color.

The Fair Maps Texas Action Committee filed a legal challenge this week on behalf of a coalition of voting and civil-rights groups and individual voters.

Jerry Vattamala, director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said despite people of color accounting for 95% of the state's population boom over the last decade, the new maps appear to be drawn to diminish their influence.

"These lines are essentially silencing them," Vattamala asserted. "Surgically removing these communities and adding them with white, rural counties to essentially dilute their vote."

The plaintiffs' legal team wants a federal court to block the plans from being used and order new maps.

Lydia Ozuna, president of Texans Against Gerrymandering, said the maps don't reflect the major growth of the Hispanic community and, in her view, intentionally prevent equal representation.

"With the purpose of crushing the hopes and dreams of people of color in Texas," Ozuna contended. "Give us a chance to have the representatives in our state mirror our communities."

Noor Taj, voting rights counsel for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, said the process used by state lawmakers provided few opportunities for meaningful public input.

"The rushed process by which these maps were drawn and passed reflects discriminatory intent," Taj stated. "People were not given notice to examine the proposed maps and comment. Amendments that would have fixed those issues were rejected."

David Donatti, staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas, noted redistricting in the state has always been controversial.

"In every decade since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, a federal court has intervened to deny Texas' unlawful racial gerrymandering," Donatti pointed out.


get more stories like this via email
Lake Mead has been downgraded to a Level 2a water shortage, leading to cuts in water deliveries in 2023. (SpaceEconomist192/Wikimedia Commons)

Environment

Nevada is set to lose 8% of its Colorado River water allotment next year because of perilously low water levels at Lakes Mead and Powell caused by a 2…


Environment

Although President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, many are hoping he will declare a climate emergency to provide further …

Environment

The Bureau of Land Management is kicking off its planning process for managing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with several public hearing…


DeSantis' new proposal to recruit teachers "focuses on heroes," but critics say it simply lowers the bar for education. (ernestoeslava /Pixabay)

Social Issues

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defends and expands his call to have military veterans bypass the teacher certification process to become educators…

Social Issues

President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law Tuesday, providing a means for making prescription drug prices more affordable in the …

The vast majority of monkeypox cases in Washington are in the western part of the state. (Hit Stop Media/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A relatively new virus known as monkeypox has made its way to the state of Washington. About 280 cases have been reported, with 240 occurring in King …

Health and Wellness

Coloradans struggling economically put their health at risk when they decide not to turn on cooling systems, frequently out of fear of not being able …

Social Issues

Whether state courts are allowed to review the validity of redistricting by state legislatures is at the heart of a case to be considered by the U.S…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021