The Supreme Court on Monday held 70 minutes of argument for three cases on the new state legislative and congressional districts Texas will use in 2012 and beyond. The three cases under review are Perry v. Perez (11-713) on redistricting the state house, Perry v. Davis (11-714) on redistricting the state senate, and Perry v. Perez (11-715) on redistricting the U.S. House. At issue is whether the San Antonio federal court had the authority to impose a new legislative district plan on Texas when the state legislature’s plan had not obtained the “preclearance” required under Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The cases focus on Section 5 issues, but have broader implications for the division of power between state legislatures and federal courts in redistricting...
Redistricting Across The United States
The Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College presents one source to find information on redistricting in all fifty states. Scroll over a state to learn about its redistricting process, and click on a state to go to its individual page with more in-depth information and news coverage of redistricting in the state.
U.S. judges in Texas may not rule on claims that Governor Rick Perry and Republican lawmakers distorted election maps to keep Latinos out of office until a panel of Washington judges decides if the districting complies with federal voter protections, lawyers in the case said. Closing arguments are under way today in San Antonio federal court, where Latino activists and state attorneys have faced off in a two-week trial over Texas’s new congressional districts.
State Sen. Wendy Davis and state Rep. Marc Veasey, both Fort Worth Democrats, won a legal round Tuesday in their opposition to the Legislature's Texas Senate redistricting plans. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the motion to intervene in the federal pre-clearance review of the plans. Davis and Veasey joined three other local residents last month in filing the motion, in which they describe the political boundaries drawn this year by a Republican-led Legislature as an affront to minorities.
The landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act has been the law of the land for nearly half a century, removing barriers for generations of black voters in the South. But one of its key provisions still sparks controversy. The law requires the Justice Department to preapprove changes made to election procedures in states with a history of racial discrimination. Many conservatives say that any need for the law has long since passed, and this month, they got a boost. A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., allowed a constitutional challenge to the preapproval language to move forward.
LAS VEGAS — The population of Latinos has exploded here, and they want their voices heard not just in the halls of schools like Clark High or on the growing number of Spanish-language radio stations, but also with a louder voice in Congress. The swelling ranks of Latinos here are a big reason Nevada will win a new seat in Washington. And so, as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process, leaders here are sketching out a new Congressional district that would give Latino neighborhoods more sway over their representative in Washington.
The Republican-controlled Texas House gave preliminary approval on
Tuesday to a GOP plan to redraw congressional districts despite
concerns from Democrats that it dilutes the votes of minorities. Democrats
attacked the plan by Republican Rep. Burt Solomons, arguing it doesn't
accurately reflect minority growth over the past 10 years and defies
the federal Voting Rights Act. The map needs a final procedural vote
before it goes back to the Senate for final approval.
Illinois Republicans and Texas Democrats have few things in common. But they are borrowing from the same playbook when it comes to congressional redistricting — both are prepping lawsuits aimed at increasing their respective states’ Hispanic-majority districts. Their similar strategies — both plan to file complaints under the Voting Rights Act — are not a result of a high-minded interest to protect the civil rights of the nation’s largest minority group, though Hispanics clearly would benefit in each case. Nor are the two groups sharing notes as they proceed with lawsuits that could work their way to the Supreme Court.
Tea Party godfather Ron Paul, a 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential hopeful, would see his congressional district transformed in a new GOP map proposed Thursday night by Senate Redistricting Commitee Chair Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo.
District 14 would pick up about 300,000 new voters, including all of Jefferson County — where the city of Beaumont is located — and a bigger slice of Galveston County. The percentage of his voting-age constituents who are Anglo would drop from 61 percent in his current district to 57 percent in his new one, while the percentage of African Americans and Hispanics would increase from 35 percent to 39 percent.
Illinois and Texas have taken center stage in a redistricting battle that could have significant ramifications for the future makeup of Congress. Republicans accuse Democrats of gerrymandering in Illinois, a Democratically controlled state where the GOP stands to lose as many as six House seats in the redistricting process.
Houston Chronicle: GOP congressional redistricting plan hammers Houston, helps Republicans in Fort Worth, East Texas
After five months and almost no public debate, the Texas House and Senate redistricting committee chairs have finally released a joint map for congressional redistricting. Here are a few first impressions of the map, which adds four districts to the state’s roster of 32, from a veteran redistricting watcher. (My first one was in 1981 and I’ve seen ‘em all since.)
The Legislature has failed to adopt a plan to redraw congressional districts in Texas, so now the governor can either call a special session or allow a federal judge to draw a new map. Lawmakers are required to redraw political boundaries every 10 years when new census data is released, but they missed a midnight Thursday deadline for approving the necessary legislation to establish new districts for the 2012 election.
Efforts to redraw the state's congressional boundaries have stalled in the Legislature. Some officials predict federal judges will ultimately create the new lines, including four additional seats earmarked for Texas. Despite the lack of movement by the Legislature, maps are beginning to trickle out. On Thursday Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, unveiled a proposal that would create 14 House seats for Democrats...
Texas represents the GOP’s best hope of bagging a handful of House seats through redistricting. But thanks to a toxic mix of delegation infighting, legal issues and general lack of enthusiasm, the chances of wringing big Republican gains out of Texas — which is slated to gain four new congressional districts — are fading fast.Continued...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Facing legislative inaction, Barton asks court to draw new congressional map
With the Legislature apparently out of time to produce a congressional redistricting plan before the session ends Monday, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton has filed a lawsuit asking a state court in Corsicana to do the job. Barton, R-Arlington, filed the suit at 12:01 a.m. Sunday in Navarro County District Court, according to his spokesman and an Austin attorney representing Barton in congressional redistricting matters.
Political geography junkies will have to wait a little longer to see how Texas gets divvied up in Congressional redistricting. The chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee, Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, just confirmed to LegeLand that it won't happen this session. "It's too late to get a map through the process," Seliger said. "The federal courts will decide [how to draw the lines].
With the Texas legislative session winding down to its final week, the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting concedes that state lawmakers probably will not get congressional redistricting finished. “Can we get it out of the Legislature? Probably not,” said Sen. Kel Seliger, the Amarillo Republican who chairs the committee.
The first official proposal for Congressional redistricting has been released. PlanC117 by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, does indeed split Travis County up four ways – just as Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett suspected, but with different boundaries from the map he uncovered on April 28.
Last week, the Chairman of the Redistricting Committee, Burt Solomons, released the state’s initial redistricting maps deciding where the district lines will be drawn and set for the next 10 years.
The chair of the House redistricting committee offered up the first House redistricting map Wednesday afternoon, and several Houston-area lawmakers don't like what they see. Due to the relative lack of growth in Harris County, the county...
Efforts to redraw the Texas congressional map have begun in earnest, and the rapid increase in the Hispanic population will be at the heart of just about every redistricting decision made this year. The search for Hispanic-majority districts could also affect the re-election chances of some lawmakers.