redistricting | KERA News

redistricting

Federal Court Sets July Trial Date In Texas Redistricting Case

May 2, 2017
Graphic by Todd Wiseman

With the 2018 election cycle looming, a federal judge panel has set July 10 as the start date for a trial over the state’s House and congressional political maps.

A panel of federal judges in San Antonio found Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in some areas when they drew district maps for the Texas House of Representatives.

Months ago, new Texas congressional maps for the 2018 election seemed like a pie-in-the-sky idea. The federal court looking at a lawsuit against the state’s 2011 map had sat on a ruling for years, and the case had gone unresolved for several election cycles.

Illustration by Anneke Paterson / Todd Wiseman

Some of Texas’ 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act, a panel of federal judges ruled Friday.

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All 36 of Texas’ congressional seats are on the ballot this fall, but only one of those races is considered truly competitive. The vast majority of state House and Senate races aren’t particularly competitive, either. One big reason: A lot of the state's districts are drawn to give one party or the other a big majority.

In Texas Case, Supreme Court Upholds One Person, One Vote

Apr 4, 2016
Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

In a unanimous decision released Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold Texas' current system for drawing legislative districts so that they are roughly equal in population.

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An obituary following his death June 20 called Daniel Weiser arguably the most powerful Dallas political figure who never sought elected office. Journalist Bob Ray Sanders explains in this commentary why voters in recent Dallas elections owe him a thank you.

Todd Wiseman/Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear a case that centers on how Texas draws its political districts, a longtime point of dispute between the state and voting rights advocates.

Texas Tribune

Once every decade, the city of Dallas reviews its charter and recommends changes in the way it governs to voters. 

Tonight, the Charter Review Commission will hold its last public meeting in Dallas City Council chambers. Members will decide May 6 which changes to put before voters in November.

Neil R (cc) flickr

The Supreme Court is allowing Texas to use congressional districts that were drawn by a lower federal court for the November election.

Neil R (cc) flickr

A federal court on Thursday rejected a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November.

Credit: jmtimages (cc) flickr

A new redistricting plan approved by the Fort Worth City Council moves more than 10% of Fort Worth residents to new council districts next year, and could face a court challenge.

Credit: jmtimages (cc) flickr

A federal judge has told Republican leaders in Texas to plan as though the state's primary will be May 29 because the long-running dispute over redistricting likely won't allow for it to be held any earlier.

U.S. Circuit Court Judge Jerry Smith on Wednesday did not officially set that as the new primary date. But the judge's guidance virtually extinguishes any chance of Texas holding an April primary.

A primary in May or later risks making Texas irrelevant in choosing the Republican presidential nominee.

An attorney defending Republican-drawn voting maps in Texas has told a federal court there are "insurmountable" differences preventing a compromise with minority rights groups.

Neil R (cc) flickr

The fate of the Texas primaries remains in limbo after neither the state nor minority rights groups appeared to budge during a weekend of court-ordered negotiations.

After yesterday’s fatal shooting at DART’s Arapaho Station, the transit agency may get additional security help from local and federal officers.

There is a high likelihood Texas’ April 3 primary will be delayed. That follows the failure of groups battling over election boundaries to reach an agreement Monday as KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports.

Jon Wiley (cc) flickr

Today is the deadline for opposing sides to agree on Texas election maps. Without an agreement federal judges in San Antonio have said the April 3 primary elections will be delayed again. KERA’s Shelley Kofler says that could further diminish Texas’ role in the presidential election.

Testimony has finished in a trial determining whether new political district lines drawn by the Texas Legislature violated the federal Voting Rights Act. Attention will now quickly shift to San Antonio where another federal court is charged with drawing interim maps.

The winner for rainfall overnight in North Texas is the area around Oakland and I-30 in Fort Worth -- more than six inches reported by the National Weather Service.

Neil R (cc) flickr

A three-judge panel is moving up closing arguments in the federal court hearing in Washington on Texas political redistricting.

jmtimages (cc) flickr

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and a redistricting expert say the political district map drawn by the Texas Legislature hurts minority seats.

Jackson Lee and Theodore Arrington testified Monday in Washington as a two-week trial resumed before a three-judge federal panel. The judges are trying to determine whether the new political map drawn by the Texas Legislature to reflect 2010 U.S. Census Data violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

Jackson Lee says she finds changes to her congressional district inexplicable, although it is still considered a safe Democratic seat.

Texas Unemployment Rate Dips

Texas unemployment in December was down to 7.8%, the lowest since 2009. November’s rate was 8.1%. The Texas Workforce Commission says the big job gains were in leisure and hospitality, but government – which had generally been in layoff mode – added more than ten thousand jobs.

Lisa Givens, with the Workforce Commission says the Dallas-Plano-Irving sector is sharing lower unemployment figures, but actually LOST more jobs last month than it gained.

Testimony continues at a court hearing in Washington on whether legislative maps drawn by the Texas Legislature violate the federal Voting Rights Act.

Neil R (cc) flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court may be considering instructions that would delay Texas primary elections again. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports Justices asked about a delay yesterday when they heard arguments over Texas’ election maps.

Jeffrey Rolinc (cc) flickr

Dallas took another “bite out of crime” in 2011. Deputy Police Chief Randall Blankenbaker briefed City Council members on the final numbers.

jmtimages (cc) flickr

Legal teams from Texas are gathered at the US Supreme Court today for arguments over which redistricting map should be used for this year’s elections. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports the impact on minority voters is at issue.

Erik Hersman / Flickr

Legal teams preparing for Monday’s Supreme Court hearing over Texas election maps are gathering in Washington for a that fight pits the state and Republicans against Democrats and minorities.

The Texas Attorney General’s office will ask the Justices to approve a map adopted by GOP lawmakers.  It would likely give Republicans three of the four new Congressional districts in Texas. 

 

The U.S. Justice Department has given “pre-clearance” to the new Dallas redistricting map. KERA’s BJ Austin says that could signal the start of a court battle.  

Credit: jmtimages (cc) flickr

Dallas, TX – The Supreme Court has been asked to stop a federal court from implementing a state redistricting map in Texas that could increase minority representation in the state Legislature.

The state's attorney general, Greg Abbott, filed the request with the high court on Monday. The court-drawn map was drafted after minority groups challenged the original plan passed by the Republican-dominated state Legislature.

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