A conservative group is suing Dallas County, Texas, for allegedly discriminating against white people in violation of the Voting Rights Act. But the catch is that the 5-member county body they’re suing about has a majority of white members. The problem, apparently, is that the board is majority Democratic.
“Like something out of the bad old days, a southern electoral body plays naked racial politics, intentionally using its power to minimize a dissenting race’s political sway,” according to the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court by the Equal Voting Rights Institute on behalf of individual white plaintiffs.
The lawsuit asserts that the five-member Dallas Commissioner Court used its 2010 drawing of the county’s districting map to “violate the rights of Dallas’s Anglo minority, denying it rights protected by the United States Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.”
The suit notes that whites lost their majority status in 2006. According to the Census Bureau, Dallas County is now 32 percent white, 39 percent Hispanic and 23 percent black.
The suit argues that Hispanics and African-American voters tend to prefer Democratic candidates, while whites favor Republicans. For the moment, the board has three white members and one black and one Hispanic member.
That’s the twist, as the Dallas Morning News reported last week: the Dallas County commissioners are mostly white, albeit Democratic. Four of the board’s five members are Democrats. The suit alleges that the county board’s current districting map is “designed to punish its racial enemies, while patting itself on the back for its adherence to the Voting Rights Act.”
It argues that the map violates the Voting Rights Act and asks for the districts to be redrawn by 2016.
The case is the first to be brought by the Equal Voting Rights Institute, whose board includes Republican state legislator Matt Rinaldi, per the Morning News. Its executive director, Dan Morenoff, was previously a local chapter president of the Federalist Society, a national group of conservative and libertarian attorneys, according to his law firm’s website.