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Posts Tagged ‘redistricting’

On Gene Green and representing Latino districts

I’ve been meaning to blog about this story about Rep. Gene Green and CD29 and how the Houston area has never sent a Latino to Congress, but I kept getting stuck and I finally decided I was overthinking it. Two decades after local political leaders thought they had solved the demographic puzzle with a new […]

HISD approves its redistricting plan

As we know, HISD now includes all of the former North Forest ISD, and with that new territory came the need to reapportion its Trustee districts. They completed that task last week with a minimum of fuss. The Houston school board Thursday unanimously approved a redistricting plan that changes all nine trustee districts to accommodate […]

Second phase of redistricting trial over

Much like the first phase, with some insults for one of the state’s key players thrown in for effect. Lawyers with the U.S. Justice Department and minority groups said in closing arguments in federal court Tuesday that state lawmakers illegally targeted Latino and African-American voters when redrawing congressional districts in 2011. Meanwhile, lawyers for the […]

On redistricting and race

Phase Two of the redistricting trial is underway, and if it sounds an awful lot like Phase One to you, you would be right. Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature didn’t discriminate against minorities by drawing election maps in 2011 that voting-rights activists say make it harder for Hispanics and blacks to elect their candidates, a lawyer for […]

Redistricting II: Congressional Boogaloo

Phase Two of the redistricting lawsuit trial begins today, in which the 2011 Congressional maps go under the microscope. That’s as good a time as any for the mandatory How Much All This Redistricting Litigation Is Costing Us story. Texans are on the hook for $3.9 million in costs for Attorney General Greg Abbott to […]

First phase of redistricting trial ends

Not much of interest must have happened, because news reports have been sparse, to say the least. The first phase of the federal trial examining claims that state lawmakers discriminated against African-American and Hispanic voters when redrawing Texas House districts in 2011 came to an end Tuesday, as both sides made closing arguments to a […]

What else is at stake in the redistricting trial

It’s about more than just the maps. Efforts by the Obama administration to wring protections out of a weakened Voting Rights Act begin Monday in Texas over allegations that Republicans intentionally discriminated against minorities when drawing new election maps. A federal trial in San Antonio comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court made a […]

Next phases of redistricting lawsuit scheduled

Part One takes place next week. The trial over 2011 House district boundaries begins July 14 in U.S. District Court, where a hearing Tuesday shed light on how the case could unfold. The proceeding are expected to last at least six days — Monday through Saturday — with testimony from about 50 witnesses. The court […]

HISD redistricting underway

As we know, the Houston Independent School District now includes all of the former North Forest ISD. The addition of all that new territory, and especially all those new voters, means that the existing HISD Trustee districts will have to be redrawn. HISD is going through that process now. The Houston Independent School District will […]

A Greg Abbott threefer

Trail Blazers: Dallas appeals court rules fired prosecutor can pursue whistleblowing case against Greg Abbott’s office In May 2009, a former assistant attorney general in Greg Abbott’s office sued the Office of the Attorney General in Dallas County court, claiming she’d been fired for refusing to lie under oath about a Dallas County judge. Five […]

When might marijuana be legalized in Texas?

Very interesting debate going on in the Baker Institute Blog about when marijuana might be legalized in Texas. Here are the posts they’ve published, in decreasing order of optimism: Texas will legalize medical marijuana in 2015 and regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol in 2017 Texas will legalize marijuana in 2019 Texas voters will push for […]

The small number of competitive legislative races in November

The Trib discusses the lack of legislative action in November. In the House, nine Republican and two Democratic races are still undecided. An early list of competitive November races — this is in a House with 150 seats — comes in under a dozen. Put another way, there are about as many competitive races in […]

Lawsuit filed over Senate map

From Texas Redistricting: [Monday] morning, two Texas voters filed a suit in federal court challenging the state senate map drawn by the Texas Legislature on the grounds that it violated the equal protection guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment by using total population rather eligible voters to draw districts. The plaintiffs in the case are backed […]

Pasadena lurches towards redistricting

It’s getting ugly. A Pasadena councilwoman was forcibly ejected by armed officers and the mayor was accused of packing a gun during recent meetings on a controversial redistricting plan. Councilwoman Pat Van Houte was removed from a meeting Tuesday on orders of Mayor Johnny Isbell after exceeding a three-minute speaking limit. And at a redistricting […]

Pity the poor Hispanic Republicans

I’d say I feel sorry for them, but I don’t. Every few years, I like to check in with Massey Villarreal to see if he’s still a Republican. He still was on Thursday. But it’s getting harder all the time. The Houston businessman and former national chair of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly didn’t bother […]

Davis beats Abbott in court again

That’s probably the simplest way to understand this story. A San Antonio federal court has ordered Texas to pay more than $260,000 in attorney fees to the legal team that helped state Sen. Wendy Davis beat back Republican attempts to carve up her district in 2011. The ruling earlier this week amounts to another court […]

What is the sound of one politician switching?

It depends. When Lawrence Meyers won a seat on the statewide Court of Criminal Appeals in 1992, he was the first Republican elected to the state’s highest criminal court. This month he made history again. After switching parties, Meyers, who had been a judge in Fort Worth, became the first Democrat to hold statewide office […]

What next in Pasadena?

Just waiting on the lawsuit at this point. There have been other elections in Pasadena with closer results, but not many. After all of the votes were counted in Tuesday’s (November 5) Charter Amendment election, Proposition One: “Shall the City Charter be amended to replace the current Council election system, which consists of a Mayor […]

Election results: Harris County

The big story: RIP, Astrodome. A $217 million bond measure to fund a massive Astrodome renovation failed by several percentage points, a decision expected to doom it to the wrecking ball. Proposition 2 would have allowed Harris County to issue up to $217 million in bonds to turn the beloved but bedraggled stadium into a […]

Endorsement watch: Sometimes the answer is No

The Chron recommend a No vote on the Pasadena redistricting referendum. There is no need for mid-decade redistricting in Pasadena, least of all with a plan that has been dug out of the trash. The once lily-white town of Pasadena has grown over the past decade to become majority Hispanic, but a large population doesn’t […]

Chron overview of the Pasadena redistricting referendum

The Chron covers the most important ballot item in Harris County that isn’t the two countywide propositions, the charter amendment in Pasadena. The charter change would replace two of Pasadena’s eight single-member City Council districts with seats elected citywide. But a citizens committee that reviewed the proposed change rejected it, 11-1. Four council members from […]

Redistricting trial set for July

The San Antonio federal court has set a date in July of 2014 to resolve the litigation relating to the 2011 and 2013 redistrictings. A federal three-judge panel in San Antonio on Friday issued a schedule for the case, mostly granting state attorneys’ wishes to have the claims regarding 2011 and 2013 redistricting maps argued in one […]

Where things stand going into early voting

A few impressions of the state of the races as we head into early voting. Mayor – The thing that I will be looking for as initial results get posted at 7 PM on November 5 is how the gaggle of non-competitive candidates is doing. The thing about having nine candidates in a race, even […]

Court rules DOJ can intervene in 2011 redistricting case

Texas Redistricting: The San Antonio court entered an order [Tuesday] allowing the Justice Department into the Texas redistricting case as an intervenor. In somewhat of a surprise, however, the decision was 2-1, with Circuit Judge Jerry Smith dissenting. The court majority – consisting of Judge Orlando Garcia and Judge Xavier Rodriguez – ruled that the […]

The tab for the redistricting fight

The bill is coming due. Civil rights groups are now contending that since the 2011 maps were never used and ultimately were altered by a court that they are entitled to be reimbursed for money spent fighting [Attorney General Greg] Abbott in the case. They’ve asked a federal judge to make the state pay $6.2 […]

Sen. Garcia joins the fight in Pasadena

Good. State Sen. Sylvia Garcia on Tuesday joined forces with four Pasadena council members and a community organizing group to mount a campaign against a new redistricting plan they say is designed to dilute the voting strength of Pasadena’s growing Hispanic population. Garcia called Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell’s proposed plan, which would switch two council […]

The state’s head in the sand legal strategy

Slate and its invaluable legal writer Dahlia Lithwick take a look at the state of Texas’ determination to ensure that gay married couples stay gay married in Texas. On Nov. 5 the Supreme Court of Texas will hear arguments regarding whether the men’s constitutional rights are violated by not granting them a divorce. J.B. and […]

All about Pasadena

Meet Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell, the man behind the redistricting scheme there that we’ve been talking about lately. For more than four decades, Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell has had his feet sunk deep into the city’s political landscape of smokestacks and honky tonks like Gilley’s, made famous by the 1980 John Travolta movie, “Urban Cowboy.” […]

2011 maps not moot, 2014 primaries to be held on time

Texas Redistricting: [Friday] afternoon, the San Antonio court entered an order denying a request by the State of Texas to dismiss claims about the 2011 maps on grounds on mootness. The court’s order also granted requests by African-American and Hispanic plaintiffs to amend their pleadings to add requests that Texas be bailed into preclearance coverage […]

Appeal filed in country redistricting lawsuit

From the Chron: Activists who believe a now-adopted Harris County redistricting plan illegally dilutes Latino votes in the only Latino-opportunity commissioner precinct are set to appeal a ruling made at the beginning of the month. In her long-anticipated decision, issued Aug. 1, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said the plaintiffs, led by Houston City Councilmen […]

Redistricting and voter ID lawsuit updates

From Texas Redistricting, a typically thorough look at where things stand with redistricting and voter ID litigation in the three courts – San Antonio, where the redistricting litigation has been ongoing and is likely due for some action; Corpus Christi, where the recent voter ID lawsuits were filed and now stand, likely pending consolidation; and […]

Lawsuit filed against Galveston County redistricting

Expect more of this going forward. A Galveston County plan slashing the number of justice-of-the-peace districts from eight to four intentionally discriminates against minority voters and should be blocked, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday. The lawsuit comes exactly one week after Galveston County commissioners approved a redistricting plan for justices of the peace […]

More redistricting shenanigans on the way

The city of Galveston prepares to make like Pasadena. [Gulf Coast Interfaith], which includes representatives of the NAACP and others, sent a letter Thursday to the city of Galveston’s attorney also questioning the wisdom of the city seeking to make a change by having two council seats elected city-wide, rather than coming from individual districts. […]

DOJ files suit against Texas’ voter ID law and redistricting maps

Excellent. The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it will again seek to dismantle Texas’ voter ID law, this time with a lawsuit alleging the measure violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The department also said on Thursday that it will seek to have Texas’ redistricting maps declared unconstitutional. Section 2 of the 1965 […]