ACLU Dismayed by Justice Department Decision on Texas Redistricting, Fears Political Pressure is Undermining Voting Rights

December 2, 2005 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed serious concerns that the Justice Department potentially allowed political considerations to overrule the unanimous findings of an internal team of voting rights experts when it approved a controversial congressional redistricting plan in Texas. That effort was lead by Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX), and, according to the analysis, violated the Voting Rights Act by illegally diluting the voting power of minority groups. That decision was revealed today in a front-page story in the Washington Post.

The following can be attributed to LaShawn Warren, an ACLU Legislative Counsel:

“It is extremely troubling that political considerations trumped the Department of Justice’s obligation to enforce laws that prevent voting discrimination in the controversial Texas plan. The Voting Rights Act requires the Justice Department to conduct an independent evaluation of voting changes to ensure that they will not have a discriminatory effect on minority voters.”

“This new revelation is particularly disturbing given recent disclosures that this is not the first time that the recommendations of career Justice Department voting rights experts were rejected by senior officials.”

To read the recommendations that were rejected by senior Justice Department officials, go to:

To learn more about the ACLU’s work on the Voting Rights Act, go to:

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