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Posts Tagged ‘redistricting’

Endorsement watch: First, reform the office

The Chron has almost as much to say about the office of Constable as it does about the candidates for Constable that they prefer. Harris County needs to bring these law enforcement fiefdoms in line: Update precincts to equalize populations, reduce the competing bureaucracies, centralize the evidence room and put county law enforcement responsibility in […]

Federal lawsuit filed in Alabama over statewide judicial elections

There are now at least two lawsuits like this in the federal courts. Tuscaloosa reverend Curtis Travis has been voting his whole life in Alabama. While nearly one-fourth of the voting population, like him, is black, the three highest courts in the state are entirely white, and have been so for more than a decade. […]

Pasadena voting rights case moves forward

Good news. A federal judge has denied Pasadena’s request to throw out a lawsuit challenging its controversial city council redistricting plan, which a group of Hispanic and Latino residents alleges dilutes the voting rights of the suburb’s growing minority population. Judge Lee Rosenthal’s ruling Wednesday after a roughly two-hour court hearing means the case continues […]

Still considering the possibility that Hillary could win Texas

Josh Barro looks at recent national poll numbers and contemplates the possibilities. If things get just a little bit worse for Trump nationally, he could start losing a lot of states we normally think of as very safe for Republicans — not just Georgia, but states like Texas, South Carolina, and even Mississippi. Even as […]

Can we PLEASE get some action on redistricting?

From the Lone Star Project: Earlier today, plaintiffs in the pending Texas congressional and state house redistricting case filed a motion with the presiding three-judge federal panel in San Antonio requesting a conference to discuss further action on the case.  The motion was jointly filed by the Quesada plaintiffs (supported by the Lone Star Project), […]

Voting rights lawsuit filed over Texas statewide judicial elections

This happened on the same day as the Fifth Circuit ruling on voter ID. [Wednesday], the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), Garza Golando Moran, PLLC, and Dechert LLP filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on behalf of individual Latino voters alleging that the […]

A new way to attack gerrymandering

From Think Progress: America’s anti-gerrymandering law is an incoherent mess. Thirty years ago, in Davis v. Bandemer, the Supreme Court held that a partisan gerrymander may be struck down as unconstitutional upon proof of “both intentional discrimination against an identifiable political group and an actual discriminatory effect on that group.” Yet the Court struggled to […]

Is the Evenwel decision the last word on “one person one vote”?

Maybe not. With a long-running legal struggle raging over one of the nation’s strictest voter identification laws, Texas was already a prime battleground in a war between conservatives and liberals over voting rights. And on Monday, experts here and elsewhere say, the Supreme Court may have opened a second front. The court said unanimously that […]

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 […]

More Congressional seats are likely on the way

If current trends continue, that is. Texas could pick up two, perhaps three, new congressional seats following the 2020 decennial Census if current population growth continues through the decade, political and demographic experts said Thursday. With continued growth in Texas’ four major metropolitan areas, they said, the state could almost match the gains it made […]

“Prison gerrymandering” tossed by federal court

Noted for the record. The Federal District Court for Florida’s Northern District ruled Monday that the prison gerrymandering in Florida’s Jefferson County unconstitutionally dilutes the voting power of its residents. By packing inmates who can’t vote into a district, but counting them when drawing electoral maps, District Judge Mark Walker said the county had violated […]

The Scalia effect on current cases

The Trib highlights a few cases pending before the Supreme Court that could be affected by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Texas abortion law On March 2, the court will hear oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which challenges Texas’ 2013 abortion law. Beyond deciding the constitutionality of a law that could […]

Pasadena plaintiffs get details on Mayor’s campaign spending

Good. A federal judge said Wednesday that a political action committee aligned with Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell must turn over hundreds of pages of internal documents in an ongoing lawsuit over the voting rights of Hispanic and Latino residents. Attorneys representing the group of Hispanic voters that is suing Isbell and the city for allegedly […]

Another legal bill for Texas

That’s what happens when you lose. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to let stand a ruling that awarded more than $1.1 million to lawyers who represented former Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis and several minority-rights groups in a case challenging Texas’ redistricting plans. The justices this week refused to review the state’s appeal of […]

Texas in line to get more Congressional seats

From Daily Kos: [Last] week, the U.S. Census Bureau released new annual population estimates for the year between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015, and there are plenty of notable details. But the most important takeaway is the implications for the next round of congressional reapportionment that will follow the 2020 census. And using […]

Pasadena activists want details on their Mayor’s campaign spending

Good. A group of Hispanic voters that accuses the city of Pasadena of diluting its voting rights is asking that a political action committee with ties to the mayor turn over records of communications with voters. The PAC — Committee to Keep Pasadena Strong — has received funding from Mayor Johnny Isbell’s campaign coffers. It […]

Endorsement watch: Latino electeds for Gene Green

Not a big surprise. U.S. Rep. Gene Green, a Houston Democrat, will pick up support from several Houston political players Tuesday. The 12-term congressman faces what could be a formidable primary challenge in the form of former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia. According to a Green campaign press release, seven Houston Democrats are ready to […]

The arguments in the “one person, one vote” case

Here’s the Chron story: “We start with the proposition that one person can’t be given two votes, while their neighbor be given one vote,” said Arlington, Va., attorney William Consovoy, arguing Evenwel’s case before the high court. Texas officials argued that the state – like every other state and the U.S. House of Representatives – […]

Oral arguments in “one man, one vote” case today

High stakes, indeed. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could have far-reaching implications for the way legislative districts in Texas — and across the country — are drawn. A coalition of Texas legislators, mostly Democrats, fears that if voters suing the state succeed, minority communities will have significantly […]

We still can’t get new maps

Seriously? To avoid confusion and uncertainty, the state’s 2016 elections for Congress and the Texas House will proceed under the current political maps, a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio said late Friday. The court previously approved maps for use in Texas Senate races, but the lines for congressional and state House districts remain under […]

Are we ever going to get a redistricting ruling?

From the Texas Election Law Blog: As Rick Hasen has reported, [Wednesday] the plaintiffs in the 2011 redistricting lawsuit asked the three-judge panel for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division to enjoin the State of Texas from using the patently illegal district boundary lines that were used in the 2014 election. Evidence-wise, the […]

Neugebauer to step down in CD19

At least one Congressional seat will have a new person sitting in it next year. U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, announced Thursday that he would not seek re-election in 2016. Neugebauer, who has represented his West Texas district in Congress since 2003, plans to finish his current term. “To say that this has been an […]

$8 million and counting for voter ID litigation

Ka-ching. Republicans used their majority in 2011 to muscle through the Legislature a controversial voter ID law and new redistricting maps — and Texas taxpayers haven’t stopped picking up the bill for the state to defend those measures in courts ever since. Texas’ total legal tab to date: more than $8 million, data obtained under […]

State gets the bill for fighting same sex marriage

Please pay promptly. The attorneys for same-sex couples who successfully challenged Texas’ gay marriage ban in federal court are seeking nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in fees and costs from the state. In a 27-page motion filed Friday, attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in San Antonio asked U.S. District Judge Orlando […]

State ordered to pay fees in redistricting litigation

They don’t seem to be interested in doing that, however. In a scolding tone, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., ordered the state of Texas on Tuesday to pay more than $1 million in attorneys’ fees in a case challenging district boundaries drawn by the Republican-led Legislature. First under the direction of then-Texas […]

Pasadena City Council member Cody Ray Wheeler announces for HD144

From the inbox: I am excited to announce that I have decided to seek the Democratic nomination for State Representative District 144. As a Pasadena City Councilmember, I have worked hard to ensure that under-served communities have a voice in city government. But it is clear that now more than ever, working people need a […]

Where are the ladies?

Not in Congress, where only three of the 36 members Texas sends to the House are of the female persuasion. Week after week at the U.S. Capitol, the Republican congressional delegation from Texas gathers for a ritual Thursday lunch. And year after year, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth has been the lone woman […]

Three legislators announce their departure

The first to say goodbye is Rep. Sylvester Turner. Representative Sylvester Turner fought back tears today as the House gave him a bipartisan farewell as he concluded a 26-year legislative career to run for Houston mayor. “My time is up. My season is about here. And Mr. Speaker, in 24 hours, my desk will be […]

SCOTUS to hear Texas “one person one vote” challenge

Gird your loins. When drawing voting districts, should lawmakers seek to make each district have roughly the same number of people, or the same number of people eligible to vote? The Supreme Court is going to answer that question, the court announced Tuesday morning. The question lies at the heart of a Texas case, and […]

House passes AG butt-in bill

Boo. The state attorney general is on the verge of having new powers to influence cases on school finance and legislative redistricting, as part of the GOP’s latest efforts to diminish Democratic challenges to their policies. The House on Monday voted 91-49 to give preliminary approval to a bill that would allow the attorney general […]

Another redistricting update

Once again from Russ Tidwell, writing at Letters from Texas. The three judge federal panel in San Antonio is nearing a final decision on redistricting litigation for the Texas House and congressional delegation. As previously discussed here, multiple weeks of trial have provided a mountain of evidence of intentional discrimination and dilution of the opportunity […]

HISD mostly declines to rezone its schools

Lots of noise, not nearly as much action. A divided Houston school board on Thursday rejected most of the rezoning proposals designed to reduce class sizes after dozens of parents expressed concerns about families having to send their children to different campuses. Only two of the six proposals passed, with parents and board members in […]

Van de Putte and Taylor in SA Mayor runoff

Here we go. Former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte is set to face San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor in a runoff for the city’s top job. With 95 percent of all precincts reporting late Saturday, Van de Putte led Taylor 31 percent to 28 percent, according to unofficial returns. Former state Rep. Mike Villarreal […]

Getting nasty in Pasadena

Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell is not on the ballot this year, but he’s definitely involved in the Council elections. A political action committee (PAC) with ties to Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell contributed more than $20,000 to three candidates in the current city council election and funded a series of attack ads targeting Pasadena City Councilmember […]