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Posts Tagged ‘redistricting’

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 […]

Pasadena proceeds with its needless redistricting

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Except for one agenda item which drew a large crowd, many public speakers, an unusually long time of councilmember’s explanations and a 5-4 vote, Tuesday’s (August 20) Pasadena City Council meeting was “Regular.” Their next meeting, scheduled for Thursday (August 22) at 8 a.m. is going to be “Special.” […]

From Shelby to Pasadena

You might have noticed this Chron editorial from last week. After former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s fall from grace, we thought that Texas politicians would know better than pursue mid-decade redistricting. Not so in Pasadena, where Mayor Johnny Isbell is trying to change Pasadena’s city council districts. Isbell proposed last month to replace two […]

More views of Abbott’s Section 3 brief

Texas Redistricting: Claim: It’s Just Partisan Politics Attorney General Abbott’s second claim is in many ways even more fundamental because it gets to the heart of what the Voting Rights Act is supposed to do. That claim asserts that: [R]edistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the […]

Texas says “No preclearance now, no preclearance forever!”

As we know, the plaintiffs in the redistricting lawsuit against the state of Texas have filed briefs arguing that the state should still be subject to preclearance under Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act. They have been joined in this motion by the Justice Department. Last Monday was the deadline for the state to […]

Whitmire draws a primary opponent

Texpatriate notes that 2010 judicial candidate Damian LaCroix is mounting a challenge to Sen. John Whitmire in SD15. This directly concerns me, as I was redistricted into SD15 in 2011 after having been in SD06 since moving to the Heights. His website is here, his Facebook page is here, and LaCroix did a judicial Q&A […]

County prevails in redistricting lawsuit

This came out on Friday. Activists failed to prove that a Harris County redistricting plan illegally diluted Latino votes in the only Latino-opportunity commissioner precinct, a federal judge has ruled. In a long-anticipated decision filed late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said the plaintiffs, led by Houston City Councilmen James Rodriguez and Ed Gonzalez, […]

Obama pledges to keep fighting for the Voting Rights Act

Let’s hold him to that. President Barack Obama assured civil rights leaders Monday that he will aggressively protect minority voters in Texas and other states, a month after the Supreme Court ended decades of federal election scrutiny. “The Supreme Court struck down one provision, not the entire act,” said Wade Henderson, president of The Leadership […]

From the “She told you so” department

No one could have seen this coming. Well, no, pretty much anyone could have. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s not surprised that Southern states have pushed ahead with tough voter identification laws and other measures since the Supreme Court freed them from strict federal oversight of their elections. Ginsburg said in an interview with […]

Justice Department to push for Section 3 in Texas

Bring it. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced on Thursday that the Justice Department would ask a court to require Texas to get permission from the federal government before making voting changes in that state for the next decade. The move opens a new chapter in the political struggle over election rules after the […]

Redistricting plaintiffs go for Section 3

It’s a brand new world out there. Minority-rights groups are charting “new territory” in the fight against Texas’ redistricting plan, using a provision of the Voting Rights Act that cites discriminatory intent as part of an effort to maintain federal oversight of the state’s congressional maps. The NAACP and the League of United Latin American […]

I do not expect another Ardmore

The AusChron tries to get out the Democrats’ strategy for Special Session 2. When the Texas House convened last last month to pass, on third reading and onto the Senate for final passage, Senate Bill 5, the omnibus abortion regulations bill, Austin Rep. Elliott Naishtat heard several colleagues discussing whether House Dems would be ready […]

Redistricting tango continues in San Antonio

More to the point, the redistricting litigation continues, at least for the time being. A panel of federal judges denied the state’s request to dismiss the case, though they left open the possibility that they could do that later. And they asked lawyers to file briefs on what should happen next. Attorneys for parties objecting […]

What the future may hold for Wendy Davis

Patricia Kilday Hart has her take on the Wendy Davis phenomenon, including the reaction of some Republicans to it. For both proponents and opponents of SB 5, the legislation that would have banned abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy and required costly upgrades to abortion facilities, one point was irrefutable: The filibuster created a new […]