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Posts Tagged ‘MALC’

Trial to be set to determine 2018 maps

Some questions answered, still more raised. As the 2018 election cycle nears, it appears Texas and its legal foes are headed for a trial — yet again — over what the state’s House and congressional boundaries will look like, and it will likely come this summer. “I think the trial is certain,” said Jose Garza, […]

Big day for redistricting in court

Tomorrow the questions of what happens next in the redistricting lawsuits begin to get answered. Will Texas soon see new political maps that are friendlier to Latino and black voters and, in turn, Democrats? If so, who would draw them: the scolded Republican-led Legislature or the courts themselves? Will the maps land ahead of the […]

Two more redistricting updates

From KUT, will we have a new Congressional map for next year? [Gerry Hebert, one of the plaintiff attorneys], says he’s hopeful there won’t be yet another election with the old maps. “The timing of the court’s decision is absolutely giving us an opportunity to get a new congressional redistricting plan for the 2018 election,” […]

Legislative maps found to have discriminatory intent

Wow. Texas lawmakers intentionally diluted the political clout of minority voters in drawing the state’s House districts, a panel of federal judges ruled Thursday. In a long-awaited ruling, the San Antonio-based judges found that lawmakers in 2011 either violated the U.S. Constitution or the Voting Rights Act by intentionally diluting the strength of minority voters […]

Voter ID law declared discriminatory

Again. A federal judge has ruled — for the second time — that Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against Latino and black voters in passing a strict voter identification law in 2011. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled Monday that Texas “has not met its burden” in proving that lawmakers passed the nation’s strictest photo […]

First shenanigan spotted

There will be more to come, I’m sure, but this will be happening today. A Tuesday debate over the future of the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry could instead become a showdown over immigration and where transgender Texans use the bathroom. House Republicans will look to force a vote on the […]

Motion filed to block current Congressional map

From the Lone Star Project. Moments ago the Plaintiffs in the ongoing Texas congressional redistricting case filed a joint motion asking the San Antonio Federal District Court for an injunction to block the use of the current congressional map during the 2018 mid-term elections.  The motion also suggests a schedule to adopt a new map […]

Court rules several Congressional districts were illegally drawn

Bam! Some of Texas’ 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act, a panel of federal judges ruled Friday. In a long-delayed ruling, the judges ruled 2-1 that the Texas Legislature must redraw the political maps it most recently used for the 2016 elections. Specifically, they pointed to Congressional […]

Voter ID 2.0

Well, this is interesting. Top Texas Republicans unveiled legislation Tuesday that would overhaul the state’s voter identification rules, an effort to comply with court rulings that have found that the current law discriminates against minority groups. Filed by Sen. Joan Huffman, Senate Bill 5 would add options for Texans who say they cannot “reasonably” obtain […]

Interview with Jose Garza

So it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the voter ID litigation. There was the motion by the Justice Department to delay the hearing on whether the law was passed with discriminatory intent, which everyone expects is a prelude to them switching sides in the case. Then there was the decision by the Supreme […]

Voter ID changes approved

We’re all set. Texas’ voter ID law, cast as the strictest in the nation, will be substantially watered down during November’s election after a federal judge Wednesday approved a deal that allows those lacking required identification to cast a ballot by signing an affidavit. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos agreed to terms worked out […]

State settles birth certificate lawsuit

Good. After undergoing mediation, the state of Texas has reached an agreement with undocumented families in a lawsuit over its denial to issue birth certificates to children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants. The state will clarify and expand the types of secondary forms undocumented immigrants can use to prove their identity, according to […]

SCOTUS upholds “one person, one vote”

Good news. In a unanimous decision released Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold Texas’ current system for drawing legislative districts so that they are roughly equal in population. The Supreme Court’s ruling is a victory for legislators — mostly Democrats — who represent districts with significant populations of people who are not eligible […]

Can SCOTUS please intervene in the voter ID case?

The plaintiffs would like to know. Civil rights groups challenging Texas’ voter identification law are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the measure from being used during the 2016 general election. […] The civil rights groups filed a motion Friday with the Supreme Court asking it to vacate a Fifth Circuit ruling that has […]

Oral arguments in birth certificate lawsuit

Here we go. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by a group of undocumented parents and their U.S.-citizen children against the state Department of State Health Services, which has effectively blocked the children from obtaining birth certificates. The families allege that the department has violated the children’s constitutional rights […]

Lawsuit filed over state refusal to issue birth certificates

I’m sure this won’t be contentious at all. For nearly 150 years, the United States, under the 14th Amendment, has recognized people born here as citizens, regardless of whether their parents were citizens. But Texas has other plans. In the last year, the state has refused to issue birth certificates to children who were born […]

Interview with Trey Martinez-Fischer

Continuing with my sprint-to-the-finish-line week of special election interviews, today we have a conversation with State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer, one of five candidates vying to succeed Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in SD26, the higher profile and much more expensive race of the three. An attorney and native of San Antonio, Rep. Martinez-Fischer – better […]

Voter ID trial still on track for September

It could have been delayed till after the November election. A federal judge in Corpus Christi ruled on Wednesday that a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of the state’s controversial Voter ID law is expected to begin in September as scheduled, 1200 WOAI news reports. Civil Rights groups like the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, which […]

Third lawsuit filed against the voter ID law

The more, the merrier. Two groups representing minority voters and officeholders sued to block the state’s new Voter ID law, which will be used for the first time in a statewide Texas election this November — barring intervention by a court. The new law requires voters to show an approved photo identification card when they […]

Abbott versus Garza on voter ID

They’ve battled in court, and now they’re battling in the news. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday called a lawyer for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus unethical for his suggestion that people in the Rio Grande Valley attempt to vote without a photo ID. Jose Garza, a lawyer who represents MALC in its fights […]

Many questions at the redistricting hearing

From the Trib: The Legislature is currently considering whether to ratify maps drawn by the three federal judges and used in the 2012 elections. It became clear during Wednesday’s hearing that the judges and the lawyers in the case agree that the Legislature probably can’t make changes to the maps during the special session — […]

Abbott predicts special session for redistricting

For the first time, someone says out loud the rumor of a special session on redistricting. Attorney General Greg Abbott let House members know in the Republican caucus meeting on Tuesday that he expects and is hoping for a special session on redistricting — sooner than later. Several lawmakers in the meeting confirmed that Abbott […]

Redistricting remains a partisan issue

We’re not surprised by this, right? Amarillo Sen. Kel Seliger offered a redistricting bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee that would formally adopt interim maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio last year. The maps for Congressional, state Senate and House districts were used for the 2012 election while a federal court […]

Weekend redistricting update

One more plaintiff has signed on to the Abbott map deal. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus is now joining the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in saying that the state-backed Congressional District 35, a proposed new district that runs from Austin to San Antonio, is “constitutionally permissible,” according to the caucus’s chairman, state […]

While we wait for another deal, if there is one

Michael Li reminds us what comes next. The San Antonio court has scheduled a hearing on interim maps and the election schedule for next Wednesday, February 15, with briefs on a broad range of issues due this Friday. That gives the parties a week to continue talking, and it is possible further consensus could be […]

Redistricting settlement deal looking unlikely

Late last week we heard about the possibility of a settlement agreement in the San Antonio redistricting case that would allow for the creation of interim maps in time to keep the April 3 primary date. The court gave this Friday as a drop dead date for getting that done. As of today, it’s looking […]

Could there be a settlement in the redistricting lawsuit?

Maybe. A leading player in the state’s redistricting turmoil said this morning he’s hopeful that both sides are closing in on a settlement that will salvage Texas’ April 3 primary. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been meeting with representatives of minority groups that sued the state last year to stop new political boundaries from […]

Texas files suit to preclear voter ID

They’re a mighty busy bunch at the OAG these days. The Texas attorney general’s office today filed suit against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to have the state’s controversial voter ID law implemented without further delay. The law, Senate Bill 14 by state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, was scheduled […]

DC preclearance trial, Day One

While we wait for the Supreme Court to give us some indication of what happens next with our elections – they did not issue an opinion this week – the preclearance trial at the DC federal court got underway. State Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, testified that hearings were held statewide to allow input from […]

Interim maps and the DC preclearance case

The federal court in San Antonio has been hearing arguments about proposed interim Congressional maps this week. Michael Li summarizes the plaintiffs’ case for why the map adopted by the Lege cannot be used, even as a starting point. Right off the bat, the panel began by asking lawyers for the plaintiffs whether it would […]

The interim plans

Monday was the deadline for parties in the redistricting lawsuit being heard in San Antonio to file interim plans for the court to consider in the event preclearance is not granted in time for candidate filing. Texas Redistricting summarizes the various plans that were presented to the court: The Plaintiffs’ Interim Plans All of the […]

TRO requested for redistricting plans

Texas Redistricting: This morning, MALC and the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force asked the San Antonio panel to enter a temporary restraining order to prevent the State of Texas from implementing its redistricting plans on the grounds that they have yet to receive pre-clearance under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In what may […]

DOJ says redistricting plans purposely discriminated

Game on. The Justice Department said late Friday that based on their preliminary investigation, a congressional redistricting map signed into law by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry appears to have been “adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or […]

Even their own experts think the Congressional map is wrong

Final arguments in the federal redistricting lawsuit should be heard today in San Antonio. On Wednesday, something truly remarkable happened during the testimony of the state’s expert witness: A Rice University political science professor, testifying Wednesday in a lawsuit over the redistricting map approved by the Texas Legislature this year, said he would have advised […]