A Voting Rights Act lawsuit with a twist opens today in a Texas courtroom, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Four White plaintiffs are suing, claiming officials in Dallas County illegally drew political boundary lines to disadvantage the county’s Anglo minority.
“It is illegal racial gerrymandering, illegal under both the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution,” said Dan Mornoff, the attorney for the White plaintiffs.
The argument he is using, however, is a familiar one. Mornoff says in drawing lines for Dallas County Commission, Democratic Party officials who are a majority in the county engaged in what is called ‘cracking and packing.’ That is packing all of the minority voters, in this case White Non-Hispanic voters, into a single Commissioners Court district, and cracking other White areas so split the voters up into various majority-minority districts.
The argument mirrors the same claim Black and Hispanic groups have been making in multiple lawsuits against the Republican dominated Texas Legislature, that maps were drawn to favor Anglo voters at the expense of minorities.
Mornoff says a minority is a minority, even if that minority happens to be Anglo.
“Packing so many Anglos into one district and cracking the remaining Anglos among the other four, assured that the Anglos were unable to vote for the candidate of their choice in all but one district,” he said.
But attorney Beth Stevens of the Texas Civil Rights Project says there is an inconvenient truth that will make it hard for the plaintiffs to win their case.
“Three of the five Dallas County Commissioners are White,” she said. “Cases like this are difficult to win anyway, and this case will make it even harder.”
But look for more cases like this in the future, as Anglo Texans, who are already a minority in all of the state’s major urban counties except for Tarrant County, begin to assert claims formerly made by Black and Hispanic Texans, and claiming that the majority is stacking the system against them.