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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Paul Townsend
April 4, 2016 paul.townsend@senate.texas.gov

Senator Sylvia Garcia Pleased with Supreme Court's Evenwel Decision

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in Evenwel v. Abbott, the case challenging Texas' use of total population when apportioning state legislative districts. The Supreme Court unanimously held that a state or locality may draw its legislative districts based on total population. The Supreme Court rejected the argument that a state or locality should be required to instead use the citizen voting age population.
"I am extremely pleased with the Supreme Court's unanimous decision to follow Constitutional history and vast legal precedent in allowing Texas and other states to draw legislative districts based on total population. This lawsuit was an attempt by parties who sought to suppress the political strength of Latino voters in Texas. Had the challengers had their way, my district, Senate District 6, would have grown from about 831,000 constituents to over 1 million, while the number of registered Latino voters would have dropped from 55% to 45%. Thankfully, the Supreme Court recognized that there was no reason to change what they recognized as a centuries-long principle of looking to total population for representation.
"However, the Evenwel decision is not just a victory for Latinos, but all of the minority populations across Texas. Requiring the use of the citizen voting age population would have hurt all communities with a diverse population. Had the voting-age-population metric been adopted, those who are the most in need of constituent services from their elected representatives would have felt the greatest harm. This was why I traveled to Washington, D.C. to listen to the oral argument in person, and is why I will continue to fight for equality for all Texans every chance that I have. I am thankful the Supreme Court agrees that all persons in Texas should share what is most basic in our representative-democracy: that all people have equal representation."
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SENATOR SYLVIA R. GARCIA
State Senator Sylvia R. Garcia is the Chair of the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus and represents Senate District 6.