Major Voting Rights Development: Intervenors Seeks to Have Texas Bailed In Under Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act -corrected

This just-filed motion by Defendant Intervenors in the Texas redistricting case is a BFD:

The State of Texas is undoubtedly the prime example of why at least some pre-enforcement review under the Voting Rights Act is still necessary to vindicate the voting rights of minority citizens. Texas has engaged in persistent and intentional efforts to diminish the voting strength of voters of color, and to exclude them from the political process. If ever a jurisdiction was deserving of being affirmatively subjected to the preclearance requirement (being “bailed-in”) under Section 3(c) of the Act, Texas is that jurisdiction.

I’ve been skeptical that Section 3 bail-in can be an effective substitute for section 5 preclearance (mainly because it is onerous to bring a section 3 suit and most local jurisdictions—where lots of mischief can take place, likely won’t be subject to a bail-in action).  But this is an important test case, and the finding of intentional race discrimination on Texas’s part in the Texas redistricting case gives preclearance supporters a fighting chance here.  (For more on how Congress could strengthen section 3 bail-in as part of a response to Shelby County, see Rick Pildes’s excellent post.)

NOTE: This post has been corrected.  An earlier version said that this was a motion by DOJ.


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