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Posts Tagged ‘Voting Rights Act’

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 […]

Abbott predicts special session for redistricting

For the first time, someone says out loud the rumor of a special session on redistricting. Attorney General Greg Abbott let House members know in the Republican caucus meeting on Tuesday that he expects and is hoping for a special session on redistricting — sooner than later. Several lawmakers in the meeting confirmed that Abbott […]

Ana Reyes makes history in Farmers Branch

I didn’t pay much attention to Saturday’s elections, since there was nothing on the ballot for me and there were few races of interest around the state. One place where there were races worth watching was in Farmers Branch, and the news from there was excellent. Ana Reyes became the first Hispanic to win a […]

So where does redistricting stand?

From Texas Redistricting: The Texas Legislature is in the final stretch of its regular session (sine die on May 27), and, at this point, in the calendar, if anything gets done, it looks like it will have to start on the Senate side. Although a couple of redistricting bills – along with some proposals for […]

Redistricting remains a partisan issue

We’re not surprised by this, right? Amarillo Sen. Kel Seliger offered a redistricting bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee that would formally adopt interim maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio last year. The maps for Congressional, state Senate and House districts were used for the 2012 election while a federal court […]

Senate committee to take up interim maps bill

From Texas Redistricting: The Texas Senate’s state affairs committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, April 18, at 2 p.m. (or upon adjournment) to consider SB 1524 – State Sen. Kel Seliger’s bill to adopt the court-drawn interim maps as permanent. As drafted, the bill would apply to all three maps that are currently in […]

Still pondering Abbott’s redistricting motives

The Trib’s Ross Ramsey wonders what Greg Abbott is up to. Greg Abbott is selling a redistricting nostrum, telling Texas legislators they could cut their legal risks by adopting new political maps right away. It is a hard sell. Lawmakers are getting along so well they practically break out into song every day. Abbott, the […]

Voter ID and the Driver Responsibility Program

Grits returns to a question he has asked before. The Dallas News last week (March 24) published a feature behind the paywall by reporter Terrence Stutz titled “Texas lawmakers want brakes put on driver surcharges for road violations,” as well as an editorial on the public part of their site calling for the repeal of […]

Advising the court on redistricting

Last Friday, all parties to the Texas redistricting lawsuit submitted their advisories to the San Antonio court, in which they told the court what they think it should do once the Supreme Court has rendered a decision on the Voting Rights Act. You can see what they all had to say there, or you can […]

Abbott asks for the interim maps

Very interesting. The recently dormant Texas redistricting issue woke up Thursday with a disagreement between the state’s attorney general and a Latino legislators’ group. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has called on the Legislature to make the current — and interim — redistricting maps permanent. Abbott’s letter to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus — which […]

The redistrictor’s dilemma

Some fascinating news from Texas Redistricting. Friday’s bill filing deadline in the Texas Legislature brought bills by State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) – chair of the House redistricting committee – and State Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) to make permanent the three interim maps drawn by the San Antonio court last year. The identical bills […]