Following VRA Ruling, Perry Signs New Texas Congressional Map Into Law

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with members of the media, Monday, April 22, 2013, in Chicago as he visits Illinois to spark competition by luring businesses away from the state.
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Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Wednesday signed a new congressional district for the state into law, a move that would have required federal approval prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

Perry’s action, confirmed by an aide to Roll Call, was a day removed from the Supreme Court’s decision to gut Section 5 from the landmark 1965 civil rights law. Prior to the court’s ruling, Section 5 required Texas — as well as other states with a history of racial discrimination — to clear any changes to its voting laws, including redistricting, with the federal government. 

Texas Republicans attempted to pass an even more advantageous map last year, but a federal court struck it down, citing Section 5 of the 1965 law. Another federal court subsequently ordered them to pass an interim map and, last month, Perry called a special session to pass the interim map. Legislators passed the map this week.

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