A federal court tossed out redistricting maps drawn up by the Republican-controlled Legislature in Texas on Tuesday, saying they discriminate against minorities.
In a lengthy opinion by the U.S. District Court in Washington, a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that the maps violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Austin Statesman reported.
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The landmark federal legislation outlawed literacy tests, poll taxes and other discriminatory election practices.
The redistricting maps were passed last year over strong objections from Democrats and civil rights groups, the Amarillo Globe-News reported.
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Luis Vera, an attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens, called the ruling "better late than never" in an interview with The Associated Press and a win for his and other minority rights groups that sued the state over the maps.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he would appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court.