Congressional Redistricting

National Atlas / Wikimedia Commons

A Texas voting case currently before the Supreme Court could change the shape of districts in the Lone Star State and affect the power balance in the State Legislature.

As The Houston Chronicle reports, the case concerns gerrymandering, which is the practice of redrawing voting districts to favor one political party. Democrats have charged that, following the 2010 census, Texas Republicans redrew the maps to favor their own real elections and give themselves a larger majority in the statehouse.

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The United States Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Texas Democrats to re-examine whether congressional districts in the Lone Star State were redrawn along partisan lines.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, the High Court said it lacked jurisdiction in the case. However, the Supreme Court is still slated to hear similar cases from Wisconsin and Maryland, and those cases may ultimately affect the way Texas (and every other state) is allowed to redraw political lines.

Steven Nass / Wikimedia Commons

An Oklahoma group is mounting a ballot effort to prevent the state’s legislature from redrawing congressional boundaries for their own benefit, a process known as gerrymandering.

Redistricting work is expected to begin after the 2020 census, but as Oklahoma Watch reports, a group called Represent Oklahoma is trying to put a stop to the effort. Represent Oklahoma has launched a website and set up a $400,000 fundraising goal, in hopes of putting a state question on this year’s state ballot.

supremecourt.gov

The State of Texas’s recent losing streak in Federal courts came to an end this week, as the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Texas does not need to redraw Congressional voting districts before next year’s elections.

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The United States Supreme Court has put a temporary hold on a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas’s congressional districts.

As The Texas Tribune reports, on Monday the high court released an order signed by Justice Samuel Alito, indicating that the justices wanted to hear from minority groups suing the State of Texas.

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A federal judge may soon require the State of Texas to send all requests for election law changes through the Federal Government for approval.

As The Huffington Post reports, in the last couple of weeks, federal courts have ruled in three separate cases that Republican lawmakers intentionally redrew Texas congressional districts to discriminate against minorities.

Kansas state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald says he’s running for Congress in the 2nd District to keep the seat in Republican hands.

Five-term Republican Lynn Jenkins now holds the seat, but she is not running for re-election

Wikimedia Commons

A landmark redistricting trial got underway this week in Texas, with prosecutors attesting that Republican lawmakers intentionally redrew district maps in 2013 in order to weaken the voting power of minorities in Texas, a move that would have bolstered the political heft of the GOP and led to an unfair balance of power.

Austin American-Statesman

A Federal court has once again ruled that the Republican Party in Texas intentionally tried to disenfranchise minority voters when it redrew district lines in 2011.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, the 2-1 ruling attested that the GOP diluted minority votes in an attempt to gain more power in the state.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Voting rights advocates are asking courts to ensure that Texas congressional voting districts will be drawn more fairly before the 2018 midterm elections, reports The Texas Tribune.

Edward A. Ornelas / Austin American-Statesman

A federal court has ruled that Texas Republican Legislators tried to discriminate against voters of color when they redrew district lines in 2011, reports The Austin American-Statesman.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that lawmakers drew a map that intentionally diluted the voting power of Latino and black citizens.

Oklahoma Watch

Five years ago in Oklahoma, the GOP-held legislature redrew district boundaries to more heavily favor the Republican party. Since that time, the Republicans have seen a ten percent increase in the number of seats they control in Oklahoma. The GOP now controls almost 80 percent of statehouse seats.

Rural Blog

A Wisconsin case on legislative redistricting could have wide-ranging effects on rural voters across the U.S.

As The Rural Blog reports, a panel of three judges in Wisconsin has determined that the state’s Republican party acted unconstitutionally when it redrew state legislative districts in 2011.

britannica.com

The U. S. Supreme Court recently struck down sections of the Voting Rights Act.  The portions eliminated required some states, including Texas, to obtain preapproval from the federal government before changing election laws. 

KUT reported it is uncertain how the Supreme Court decision will affect two current Texas issues: