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.