This week, a three-judge federal panel struck down the political maps drawn by Texas lawmakers' plans for new congressional and state legislative districts.
They found the maps were designed to discriminate against minorities.
On Friday, top Democrats in Nueces County called reporters together to say the decision simply echoes what they have been saying all along.
Democratic Party Chair Joseph Ramirez said the ruling by the three-judge panel is a victory for the party, and while the ruling doesn't affect the County's Republican-drawn court approved redistricting, it shows there are flaws.
"Every fair-minded Texan familiar with the details of redistricting knew that the Republicans were violating the law," Ramirez said. "That is from the State of Texas to right here in Nueces County."
"What Mike Pusley and the Republican Party tried to do was to put their thumb on the scale, and at the national level, they can pull out imaginary chairs, draw phantom districts, but the law and reality are on our side," said Lisa Hernandez, a Democratic Party member. "And that's what this court decision proved."
The opinion of the three Washington judges declared the redrawn lines were intentionally designed to discriminate against racial minorities, noting that Texas officials "did not adequately engage with the evidence" presented.
The Justice Department had challenged the redistricting plans for congressional districts and State House of Representatives seats. It did not challenge the State Senate district lines, but the court said that plan also showed intentional discrimination.
While the local Democratic Party cited this ruling as a vindication, Republican leaders said it is no reflection on the county's redistricting.
"I just think that what they said doesn't hold water, and again, it's an election year," said Mike Pusley, Nueces County commissioner.
"Look. They sued us and the Department of Justice ruled that our plan was fair, and met all the Voting Rights Act requirements," Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal said. "There's nothing else to talk about there. We vetted this thoroughly. We were there in federal when the Justice Department said it's a good plan."
So while Nueces County met the Department of Justice requirements, it was not so for the state. Texas is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.