5th Circuit Will Hear Galveston Redistricting Lawsuit En Banc, Offering Another Chance to Weaken the Voting Rights Act

Here’s the order.

Here’s my earlier coverage:

Breaking: Fifth Circuit Panel, While Affirming that Galveston, Texas Violated the Voting Rights Act, Calls for En Banc Rehearing So They Can Rule Against Galveston

Well this is an interesting (and disturbing) order. A Fifth Circuit panel has unanimously held that the district lines for the legislative body in Galveston County, Texas violates the Voting Rights Act as currently interpreted by the 5th Circuit by diluting the power of black and Latino voters.

But the panel in the same order says that existing circuit precedent which allows considering a so-called rainbow coalition of black and Latino voters cannot be considered together for purposes of the Voting Rights Act, even if they vote together to prefer candidates of their choice against the preferences of the white majority of voters. “That precedent establishes the validity of so-called minority-coalition claims like those brought in this case. And this panel is bound by it under the rule of orderliness. But the court’s decisions in this respect are wrong as a matter of law. The text of Section 2 does not support the conclusion that distinct minority groups may be aggregated for purposes of vote-dilution claims.”

Kind of sense that the 5th Circuit sitting en banc (as a whole) will be likely to agree; it’s the most conservative appeals court body in the country.

Share this: