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Posts Tagged ‘Voting Rights Act’

Plaintiffs again ask for voter ID law to be tossed

Again I agree with them. Minority groups have asked a federal judge to scrap Texas’ voter identification law and place the state under the jurist’s supervision for at least a decade, according to court filings this week. Not only are the groups taking on the state over the law they say discriminates against blacks and […]

Pasadena has a decision to make

To continue the redistricting appeal, or to drop it and accept the ruling? One factor to consider is the cost involved. Pasadena has already paid more than $2.5 million to its outside attorneys. But there’s a complication: Under federal law, if the plaintiffs prevail, the city would be on the hook for their legal fees […]

Let a thousand hypothetical alternative Texas Congressional maps bloom

Stephen Wolf of Daily Kos Elections takes a crack at drawing a remedial Congressional map for Texas. Just how effective is GOP gerrymandering in Texas, and what might a redrawn map look like in 2018 as a consequence of a favorable court ruling? To answer these questions, we’ll analyze a hypothetical fully nonpartisan congressional map below as part […]

The broader implications of the Pasadena voting rights lawsuit

Buried in this Trib story about the ongoing saga of Pasadena’s voting rights lawsuit is this nugget about the state getting involved. The case could reverberate beyond Pasadena’s city limits. Legal experts contend that a decision by the 5th Circuit could guide other courts around the country that are considering similar voting rights cases. The Pasadena ruling also has […]

Redistricting trial update: Invoking privilege

Interesting choice. Texas’ defense of its electoral maps suffered a setback Friday when a state witness couldn’t defend lawmakers’ intentions for much of his testimony. […] Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, was the chairman of the House Select Committee on Redistricting in 2013. He invoked legislative privilege for more than 20 minutes Friday during the […]

Redistricting update: It’s all about the emails

Two days into the trial, and there’s more drama. Plaintiffs challenging Texas’ 2013 redistricting maps Tuesday accused the state of improperly delaying the release of thousands of pages of documents from them, including 113 documents that state lawyers refuse to hand over because they say they are privileged. The spat may further delay a conclusion […]

Redistricting trial week begins

This will be the main event of the week. Eight months ahead of the 2018 primaries, Texas and its legal foes on Monday will kick off a week-long trial that could shake up races across the state. The state and minority rights groups have been squabbling for six years over new political district boundaries drawn […]

Next round of voter ID briefs ordered

Moving right along: With the next election season looming, a federal judge has set a fast-paced schedule for determining whether Texas should be penalized for a voter ID law found to have been written by Republicans to intentionally discriminate against minority voters. Saying no additional hearings will be needed, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos gave […]

No partisan gerrymandering claims (yet) in Texas

From Texas Redistricting: The three-judge panel in the Texas redistricting case has issued an order striking the expert report offered by the Texas Democratic Party in connection with its partisan gerrymandering claim. However, the court said that it would allow the TDP to make an offer of proof under Federal Rule of Evidence 103 so […]

Fifth Circuit to hear AALDEF lawsuit appeal

This happens today. Amid last-minute efforts to overhaul the state’s voter identification law in light of an ongoing legal fight, the Texas Legislature gaveled out without addressing another embattled election law that’s now moving forward in federal court. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday will take up a legal challenge to an […]

Voter ID plaintiffs ask court to void the law

As well they should. Lawyers for minority voters and politicians asked a federal judge Wednesday to void the Texas voter ID law, saying it is the next logical step for a statute found to be discriminatory. The lawyers also said they will ask U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos to require Texas officials to get […]

Voter ID 2.0 gets final passage

Hopefully, this will turn out to have been a waste of time. The Texas House and Senate have approved a deal to relax the state’s voter identification requirements, meaning the closely watched legislation now only awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s approval. The Republican is expected to sign Senate Bill 5, capping a flurry of late activity […]

No special session for redistricting

Buried in my Wednesday post about the SCOTUS ruling that declared North Carolina’s Congressional map to be an illegal gerrymander was a note that the court in the Texas redistricting case asked the state to consider a special session to redraw Texas’ map, taking that ruling into account. The DMN had a story about that: […]

The SCOTUS ruling on North Carolina’s gerrymandering could affect Texas

This is potentially a very big deal. In striking down North Carolina’s congressional district map, the Supreme Court sent Texas a firm warning Monday about how the state’s case may fare if it reaches that stage. The 5-3 North Carolina ruling affirmed a previous district court decision, which found that Republican state legislators there had […]

Bill to ban straight-ticket voting advances in the Senate

This could happen. A Texas Senate panel approved legislation Thursday that would end straight-ticket voting in all elections. The Senate Committee on Business & Commerce voted 7-0 to send House Bill 25 for potential consideration by the full chamber. Two members, the only Democrats on the panel, were absent. The vote came less than a week […]

Who’s your lawyer?

Ross Ramsey has a simple question. Do you remember the name of the lawyer who advised the Texas House and Senate when they wrote the 2011 voter ID bill? That’s the law a federal judge in Corpus Christi found to be intentionally discriminatory on the basis of race. An appeals court told her to throw […]

Justice Department will send election monitors to Pasadena

Okay. The U.S. Department of Justice is monitoring the Pasadena city elections as the suburb faces mounting federal scrutiny in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling that the city intentionally violated the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against Hispanics. Two observers will be present to ensure the Saturday elections are conducted smoothly, said C. […]

Trib overview of the Pasadena elections

Good stuff. When voters head to the polls here Saturday, their city council and mayoral picks could have repercussions well beyond this working-class Houston suburb. It will be the first election since a federal judge struck down the city’s 2013 redistricting plan as discriminatory, paving the way for a new balance of power at City […]

Court denies motion for appeals in redistricting case and sets trial date

We are moving along in this process after such a long long looooooooooooooooong wait to get here. A three-judge panel on Monday denied Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request to appeal a March ruling that said the Legislature intentionally discriminated against minority voters when it approved new congressional districts in 2011. Texas needed the federal […]

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,” […]

ADA voting rights lawsuit update

Interesting. A federal judge in Houston put Harris County on notice Friday that the scope of accessibility violations at local polling places could be so vast that a special master may be needed to sort them out. U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett said he is considering an independent review of the county’s 765 polling […]

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 […]

The status of Section 3

Lyle Denniston looks at a key aspect of the voting rights-related lawsuits in Texas. About four years after the Supreme Court took away the government’s strongest authority to protect minority voters’ rights, a backup power under the federal Voting Rights Act – weaker and harder to use – is now being threatened, just as federal […]

Bill to fix voting interpreters considered

This needs to happen, and it really shouldn’t be a big deal. Almost three years after Mallika Das, a naturalized citizen who spoke Bengali, was unable to vote properly because she was not proficient in English, Texas lawmakers are considering a change to an obscure provision of Texas election law regarding language interpreters. Members of […]

State wants to appeal redistricting ruling

From Texas Redistricting: The State of Texas filed a motion [Wednesday] afternoon with the three-judge panel in the Texas redistricting case, asking the panel to give the state permission to appeal the panel’s March 10 ruling on the state’s 2011 congressional plan (Plan C185) to the Fifth Circuit. Texas told the court that it sought […]

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 […]

Some Texas voting rights lawsuit updates

This has been a busy week for litigation related to voting rights issues in Texas. Here are updates to some cases, all of which happened this past week. From Texas Redistricting: The three-judge panel in the Texas redistricting case has set a status conference for April 27, at 9:30 a.m. in San Antonio to discuss […]

Pasadena Council not happy with redistricting appeal

Or maybe they’re just not happy with soon-to-be-former Mayor Isbell. Either way, they showed it. In a sign of waning confidence in its legal position, the Pasadena City Council voted Tuesday to withhold payment from the law firm that’s trying to prove that the city’s redistricting plan doesn’t discriminate against Hispanics. The 7-1 vote, with […]

State files opposition to motion for new Congressional maps

From Texas Redistricting: The State of Texas has filed its opposition to redistricting plaintiffs’ request for an order that would permanently block the current Texas congressional map and require a redraw of the map for the 2018 election. The state told the court that any ruling on the injunction request was premature since the court […]

Voter ID 2.0 passes out of the Senate

Meh. The Texas Senate tentatively approved legislation Monday that would revamp the state’s voter identification rules, a response to court rulings that the current law discriminates against minority voters. Following more than an hour of debate, the chamber voted 21-10 to move the bill to a final vote, likely later this week. Sen. Joan Huffman’s […]

An ironic might-have-been on redistricting

From Rick Casey. The three judges who decided the case include one Democrat and two Republicans. Ironically, the decision may have gone the other way if one of the judges hadn’t been punished for joining in an earlier ruling in the case. Here’s the backstory. Judge Rodriguez, a graduate of Harvard University and the University […]

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 […]

So what does that redistricting ruling really mean?

The Trib has a good explainer. So will the Legislature redraw the congressional map? And if so, when? Here’s where it gets tricky. Friday’s order made it clear that the 2011 map cannot stand, but it did not order anyone to immediately redraw it. That might be because that map wasn’t actually in effect. Amid […]

Another voter ID update

From the Lone Star Project: Last week, the Trump Department of Justice brought press attention to the ongoing Texas voter ID lawsuit that remains pending before Federal District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi. The Trump DOJ withdrew long-standing federal government claims that the Texas law was adopted with the intent to discriminate against Hispanic […]