Abbott signs new Texas Congress cards into law

Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg Abbott Note: Will COVID-19s dive boost Biden? GOP leaders escalate fight against COVID-19 vaccine mandates Lincoln Project files ethical complaint against Abbott MORE (R) on Monday, the law signed a new congressional card that would effectively strengthen the GOP’s power in the state, while offering little in the way of new political representation to the minority communities that drive much of its growth.

The signing came a week after Republican lawmakers gave final approval to a negotiated card that largely favors GOP’s established members and seeks to add Republican-oriented voters to suburban districts where Democrats have gained ground in recent years.

The map also includes the two new districts the state got after the 2020 census. Lawmakers chose to draw these districts in the Houston and Austin areas. The new districts will be used for the first time in the 2022 midterm elections.

The redistribution process in Texas is expected to give rise to a number of legal challenges. A lawsuit filed before Abbott signed the new cards into law claims the new districts discriminate against colored voters.

It is about, critics argue, the new maps do not reflect the role that minority communities have played in Texas’ massive population growth over the past decade. Data from the 2020 census show that people of color are responsible for 95 percent of the state’s population growth.

Instead, the new short-term communities combine with large populations of people of color with districts where white voters have significant influence. Critics of the new cards say they effectively dilute color voters’ ability to influence meaningful political change.

The new Texas cards were approved by Republicans, who control both chambers of the state legislature, against the will of Democratic lawmakers. It’s only the latest hit for the Texas Democrats after GOP lawmakers passed an election law earlier this year that includes new restrictions on early voting times and new voter ID requirements for postal voting.

The new congressional card, which was signed into law on Monday, also increases the number of districts that would have been borne by earlier President TrumpDonald TrumpSix Big Elections Outside of the Year You May Miss Twitter Suspend GOP Rep.Banks for Abusing Trans-Secretary Meghan McCain to Trump: ‘Thank You to the Public’ MORE. Trump won 22 of Texas’ congressional districts in the 2020 election, but under the new configuration, he would have won 25.

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