Federal Court Decision on Redistricting Opens Up Opportunity to Keep Men out of Women’s Bathrooms in Second Special Session!
by Jared Woodfill
President, Conservative Republicans of Texas
A recent opinion by a panel of federal judges have ruled that two Texas congressional districts violate the federal Voting Rights Act and Constitution, holding that the legislature or court must remedy the issue. Specifically, a three-judge panel in San Antonio held that Congressional Districts 27 and 35 violate the federal Voting Rights Act. The panel concluded that Hispanic voters in Congressional District 27, (Cong. Blake Farenthold) were deprived of a chance to elect a candidate of their choosing. The court further held that Congressional District 35, held by Congressman Lloyd Doggett, was racially gerrymandered because race was a dominant factor in the way it was drawn.
The opinion now requires lawmakers to hustle to redraw the districts prior to the 2018 election. The court gave the Attorney General’s Office three days to indicate whether the Legislature will deal with the redistricting issue in a Special Session. If not, the state will be back in court on September 5th where the court will work to redraw the lines. Obviously, this could have implications on other Congressional Districts.
The Court concluded that Congressional District 23 did not violate the Federal Voting Rights Act. Congressional District 23 is represented by Republican Will Hurd. The court did not deal with the challenges to the state House map.
Because the Governor is likely to call a Special Session on this issue instead of leaving it to the court, there is no reason the call for the Special Session should not include Senate Bill 3, a bill that keeps biological males, including registered sex offenders, out of women’s bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. SB 3 was overwhelmingly passed the Texas Senate, and is strongly supported by Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick. It is imperative that Governor Abbott continue to call our legislators back to Austin until both chambers vote on SB 3. It is time for Joe Straus and his lieutenants do their job and vote!
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