The Texas Senate’s Cowardly Response to Recent Voting Rights’ Cases

via Texans Ending Gerrymandering:

Oh, Texans (call to action down below). Instead of considering options for DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR ALL TEXAS VOTERS, on Thursday the Senate passed SB 949 (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx…) that caps legal fees at $250k to reimburse successful challengers when Texas LOSES constitutional rights cases in voting district and school finance claims. SB 949 is the Lege’s cowardly response to Texas being repeatedly found to have violated Texans’ voting rights under the US Constitution. So if there is a future ruling at the Supreme Court that adopts the Wisconsin standard for how much partisan gerrymandering is “too much,” bringing a court case to challenge partisan gerrymandering in Texas will be all but impossible because the lawyers and experts who take those cases can’t be paid if they win. And if Texas continues to racially gerrymander its voting districts in violation of the US Constitution, there will be no financial ability to bring those cases anymore because the state just wrote itself off the hook.

HB 2221 is the House companion bill to SB 949, and it’s in the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence. The bill is set for a hearing on Tuesday next week. NOW IS THE TIME TO CALL THESE COMMITTEE MEMBERS and tell them you OPPOSE gerrymandering and therefore also OPPOSE HB 2221:

Chair: Rep. John T. Smithee (512) 463-0702
Vice Chair: Rep. Jessica Farrar (512) 463-0620
Members:
Rep. Roland Gutierrez (512) 463-0452 ***
Rep. Ana Hernandez (512) 463-0614
Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (512) 463-0186
Rep. Andrew S. Murr (512) 463-0536
Rep. Victoria Neave (512) 463-0244 ***
Rep. Matt Rinaldi (512) 463-0468
Rep. Mike Schofield (512) 463-0528 (the AUTHOR of HB 2221)

*** Representatives that we know already will oppose HB 2221. But still okay to call to say thanks.

Next, CALL YOUR HOUSE REP and tell them to OPPOSE HB 2221.

And if you’re up for making some more calls, here is last night’s voting record for this atrocious bill (and when they’re up for re-election). It’s worth noting this vote was entirely along party lines, with every R voting “yea” and every D voting “nay”:
Yeas:
Sen. Paul Bettencourt 512-463-0107 (2018)
Sen. Brian Birdwell 512-463-0122 (2020)
Sen. Dawn Buckingham (512) 463-0124 (2020)
Sen. Konni Burton 512-463-0110 (2018)
Sen. Donna Campbell 512-463-0125 (2018)
Sen. Brandon Creighton 512-463-0104 (2018)
Sen. Craig Estes 512-463-0130 (2018)
Sen. Bob Hall 512-463-0102 (2018)
Sen. Kelly Hancock 512-463-0109 (2018)
Sen. Donald Huffines 512-463-0116 (2018)
Sen. Joan Huffman 512-463-0117 (2018)
Sen. Brian Hughes 512-463-0101 (2020)
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst 512-463-0118 (2020)
Sen. Jane Nelson 512-463-0112 (2020)
Sen. Robert Nichols 512-463-0103 (2018)
Sen. Charles Perry 512-463-0128 (2020)
Sen. Charles Schwertner 512-463-0105 (2018)
Sen. Kel Seliger 512-463-0131 (2018)
Sen. Larry Taylor 512-463-0111 (2020)
Sen. Van Taylor 512-463-0108 (2018)

Nays:
Sen. Sylvia Garcia 512-463-0106 (2020)
Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa 512-463-0120 (2020)
Sen. Eddie Lucio 512-463-0127 (2020)
Sen. Jose Menendez 512-463-0126 (2020)
Sen. Boris Miles (512) 463-0113 (2020)
Sen. Jose Rodrıguez 512-463-0129 (2020)
Sen. Carlos Uresti 512-463-0119 (2020)
Sen. Kirk Watson 512-463-0114 (2018)
Sen. Royce West 512-463-0123 (2018)
Sen. John Whitmire 512-463-0115 (2018)
Sen. Judith Zaffirini 512-463-0121 (2020)

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