WASHINGTON (AP) - Justice Department lawyers objected to a Texas redistricting plan orchestrated by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, but top agency officials brushed aside concerns about diluting minority voting strength and approved the plan anyway, according to an agency memo released Friday.
Because of historic discrimination against minority voters, Texas is required under provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to get Justice Department approval for any voting changes it makes to ensure the changes don't undercut minority voting.
'The State of Texas has not met its burden in showing that the proposed congressional redistricting plan does not have a discriminatory effect,' Justice Department officials said in the memo made public by the Lone Star Project, a Democratic group.
Eight department staffers, including the heads of the Voting Rights Division, objected to the redistricting map, according to the memo which was first reported in Friday editions of The Washington Post.
'The fact that the White House has covered up this document for so long provides a smoking gun pointing out efforts, led by Bush political appointees and Tom DeLay, to systematically cripple the voting rights of minorities,' said Texas Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, one of the Democratic lawmakers who fled to New Mexico to thwart passage of the redistricting plan.
Friday, December 02, 2005
My Way News:
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11/27 - 12/04
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- And So It Begins
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