TN Tribune–The Justice Department has sued to block Texas’ updated congressional and state House maps, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday, alleging that the districts redrawn after the 2020 census disenfranchise minorities in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

The suit, filed in federal court, claims Texas is “refusing to recognize the State’s growing minority electorate.” It asks the court to stop the state from holding elections under the new maps and to redraw Texas’s congressional and state House districts for 2022.

It is the latest voting-rights lawsuit from the Department of Justice, which sued Texas last month over the state’s recently-implemented new election law, which adds further restrictions to mail voting and banned voting practices, like drive-through and 24-hour early voting, piloted by large Democratic-leaning counties during the pandemic.

“Texas’s 2021 redistricting plans were enacted through a rushed process with minimal opportunity for public comment, without any expert testimony, and with an overall disregard for the massive minority population growth in Texas over the last decade,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the third-ranking department official, said at a Monday press conference.SharePlay Video

The suit notes that Texas’ past redistricting maps have repeatedly been smacked down by courts over the last several decades. But Garland acknowledged during the press conference that this case presents more challenges than past decades because the so-called preclearance requirement, which mandated that jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory election laws get changes approved by either the Department of Justice or a D.C.-based federal court, was gutted by a mid-2010s Supreme Court decision.