HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Two commissioners have filed a lawsuit against Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
Harris County Commissioners Tom Ramsey and Jack Cagle are among the plaintiffs suing the county and Judge Lina Hidalgo over redistricting.
The lawsuit calls the plan adopted by Commissioners Court in October “unconstitutional and illegal,” claiming it strips more than 1.1 million people of their right to vote in next year’s county elections.
The court documents state the even-numbered precincts, 2 and 4, are slated for primary and general elections in 2022, and by intentionally moving voters from even-numbered to odd-numbered precincts, the plan stripped those specific voters of their right to vote.
The primary and general elections for the odd-numbered precincts, 1 and 3, will not take place until 2024, according to the documents.
Ramsey and Cagle are both Republicans. Andy Taylor, an attorney for the plaintiffs, believes politics played a role in the process.
“The Democrats on the Commissioners Court saw an opportunity, not to simply and roughly have all of the districts be the same size, but to use this mandate to redistrict as a mandate to run up the political score because they want to go from a 3-2 to 4-1 Democratic majority on the court,” Taylor said.
The lawsuit asks the court to prevent the implementation of the plan.
Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee responded in a statement saying, “The County ran a transparent and thorough redistricting process. We’re confident the map Commissioners Court adopted complies with Texas law.”