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Posts Tagged ‘Voting Rights Act’

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 […]

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 […]

Once again, voter ID is a non-solution to a non-problem

Greg Abbott’s record is all the proof you need of this. Attorney General Greg Abbott champions a requirement for voters to show photo identification to prevent ballot fraud. But such a rule would have deterred just a few of the cases his office has prosecuted in the last eight years. Abbott, who’s making his defense […]

The voter ID effect

The conventional wisdom is that we’re unlikely to see the full effect of the voter ID law until next year. The true test of how voter ID will affect voters — and whether it will sway elections — won’t come next month after a special election in Edinburg. And it might not even come this […]

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 […]

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. […]

Dallas County to sue state over voter ID

The shoe is on the other foot. Democratic Dallas County commissioners narrowly agreed [Tuesday] afternoon to join a lawsuit against Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry over state efforts to enforce a controversial voter identification law. Democratic Commissioner Elba Garcia stepped out of the partisan fray inextricably linked to the national debate on voter ID laws […]

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.” […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

From the “Wooing Latino Voters: You’re Doing It Wrong” department

Greg Abbott visits McAllen and gives the locals his best reason why they should vote for him. Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott called for unity between Republican candidates and Hispanics in McAllen on Monday, with the promise of being in South Texas much more. As evidence voters should elect him governor in 2014, Abbott cited 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 […]

PPP polling miscellany

Public Policy Polling has some additional results from its latest venture into Texas. -By a 54/21 margin Texas voters say that they support the Voting Rights Act, including 45/23 even with Republicans. Only 29% of voters say that they favor the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn parts of the VRA last week, with 45% opposed. […]

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 […]

Clock strikes midnight for North Forest

This was a tough blow for NFISD. North Forest school officials lost one of their final court battles Wednesday, making the district’s state-ordered merger into HISD five days from now increasingly likely. U.S. District Judge David Hittner rejected the last-ditch claims by North Forest that the school system’s takeover by the Houston Independent School District […]

The 2011 maps are officially dead

Rick Perry has signed the redistricting bills, thus making the 2012 interim maps the official state-sanctioned maps and thus dropping any further pursuit of the maps drawn by the 2011 Lege. On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Perry signed all three redistricting bills that lawmakers sent to him. With his signature, Perry set the district boundaries for […]

Not so fast on voter ID enforcement

Oops. Top Texas leaders acted without legal authority when they claimed to be moving forward with implementing the state’s controversial voter ID law, a veteran Supreme Court watcher said today. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Secretary of State John Steen both said after the Supreme Court struck down the core of the country’s voting […]

RIP, Section 5

By now you are well aware that SCOTUS has dealt a blow to the Voting Rights Act. They actually left Section 5, which is what requires certain parts of the country (including Texas) to get preclearance on voting-related changes, intact, but instead ruled that Section 4, which defined who was under the purview of Section […]

The special session won’t be so short

The original idea behind the special session on redistricting was that it would be a quickie – gavel in, vote to adopt the interim maps as permanent, maybe vote on a few wingnut wish list items, and gavel out again. That may yet be the basic timeline, but it will take more time than first […]

Justice Department engaged in North Forest closure

A possible ray of hope for supporters of North Forest ISD, which is still hoping to survive past July 1 when the TEA’s order for it to be subsumed into HISD takes effect. The chief of the Justice Department’s voting section wrote a letter to the Texas Education Agency saying federal officials need to know […]

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 — […]

Why a special session on redistricting won’t resolve anything

From Texas Redistricting: Intentional Fragmentation  In the other parts of the map, redistricting plaintiffs contend that the Texas Legislature intentionally diluted African-American and Hispanic voting strength by fragmenting cohesive communities. This fragmentation, they argue, is especially pronounced in the DFW Metroplex, where the court-drawn interim map (Plan H309) adopted the Texas Legislature’s map (Plan H283) […]

Redistricting hearing set in San Antonio

Texas Redistricting: The San Antonio court entered an order this afternoon setting a hearing for May 29 at 9 a.m. to decide what to do with the Texas maps – or, more exactly, to decide how to decide what to do. The order acknowledged that the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby Co. would “affect the final […]