Hispanic rights groups will try again today to convince a federal court in San Antonio to throw out the Congressional and Legislative redistricting maps which were approved by the Republican dominated Legislature following the 2010 Census, 1200 WOAI news reports.
This will be the third trial of the state's Republicans-heavy redistricting effort. The previous trials were held under Section Five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which required Texas and seven other states to 'pre clear' any changes to voting laws, citing 'past discrimination' in the 1950s.
But Section Five of the Voting Rights Act was declared unconstitutional in 2013.
So the hearing that begins today and is expected to continue for several weeks, involves another portion of the act which was not declared unconstitutional, Section Three.
That section says Justice Department oversight is possible if 'intentional discrimination' is found to have taken place.
That means that the Hispanic rights groups which are suing in San Antonio will have to prove not only that the Republican-central redistricting plan discriminates against minority voters in fact, but that when lawmakers approved them, they not only intended the districts to back Republicans, but they specifically wanted minority voters to be disenfranchised, a very tall order.
No ruling is expected for several months, and the ruling is not expected to have any affect on this November's elections.
Today's hearing means that the Texas redistricting effort has been under nearly constant legal challenge for 11 years, starting with the Tom DeLay led effort to redraw the boundaries to favor Republicans after the GOP took control of the Legislature in 2002.