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Saturday, June 11, 2005

LULAC LIKELY TO APPEAL TEXAS REDISTRICTING DECISION TO SUPREME COURT

LULAC NATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
2000 L Street, NW, Suite 610; Washington, DC 20036
(202) 833-6130; (202) 833-6135 FAX; www.LULAC.org

For Immediate Release
Contact: Luis Vera (210) 225-3300

June 9, 2005

LULAC LIKELY TO APPEAL TEXAS REDISTRICTING DECISION TO SUPREME COURT
Three Judge Panel's Decision to Uphold the Retrogressive and Discriminatory
Texas Redistricting Plan is Disappointing but Expected

Austin, TX - The League of United Latin American Citizens is likely to appeal the decision of a three-judge federal panel in the Eastern District of Texas upholding the blatantly retrogressive and discriminatory 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan that violates the constitutional protection of one person one vote.

"We are disappointed but not surprised that the three-judge panel upheld the redistricting plan again," stated Roger Rocha, Texas State Director. "The fact remains that this plan is clearly retrogressive and discriminatory toward minority voters."

Texas LULAC will study the memorandum and opinion of the three-judge federal panel which ruled on the Texas redistricting case and will probably appeal the decision to the United States Supreme Court which has already ruled once in our favor.

"We never expected to get relief from the three-judge federal panel," stated LULAC General Counsel Luis Vera. "It will be up to the Supreme Court to decide if minority voting interests will still be protected or if the Voting Rights Act is rendered meaningless."

LULAC is encouraged that Justice Ward sided with the LULAC position that Texas must uphold the constitutional protection of one person one vote. The 2003 redistricting plan used outdated Census figures that shortchanged over a million Hispanic residents. Ironically, the three-judge panel issued its decision the same day the US Census Bureau released a report that the Hispanic population in Texas is growing faster than ever.

"The National Office of LULAC will continue to support the efforts of our Texas membership to preserve minority voting rights in their state," said Hector M. Flores, LULAC National President. "Our entire membership is keenly aware of the dangerous precedent that this decision will have on the Voting Rights Act if it is allowed to stand."

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

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