Efforts by the Obama administration to wring protections out of a weakened Voting Rights Act begin Monday in Texas over allegations that Republicans intentionally discriminated against minorities when drawing new election maps.
Minority rights groups that sued over voting maps passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011 now want the state to pay back the roughly $6 million spent fighting in court.
The Texas House plans to begin hearings on adopting new political maps, with Republicans wanting to ratify those drawn by a federal court.
Advocates for minorities in Texas blasted the process by which the state is considering new political maps, complaining on Thursday that lawmakers are not giving poor people outside of Austin the chance to testify and the versions under consideration would discriminate against minorities.
The Texas Senate is holding the first hearing to adopt new election maps. A committee will meet Thursday to hear testimony on adopting redistricting maps drawn by a federal court.
A three-judge panel in San Antonio on Wednesday will hear arguments from state attorneys and minority rights groups for the first time since the November elections.