Redistricting

The rotunda of the Texas Capitol
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Voting groups say a list of locations Texas lawmakers proposed for public hearings ahead of the next round of political redistricting will give smaller cities an outsized role in the process.

Legislative districts in Virginia that the Supreme Court previously said were racially gerrymandered have to remain in their redrawn form, the court said Monday, giving Democrats in the state a victory.

The majority decision was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who noted that because the entirety of state government wasn't suing to keep the fight going — the case was brought by the state's GOP-controlled House — then it is throwing the case out.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

A high-ranking Census Bureau official privately discussed the citizenship question issue with GOP redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller in 2015, according to emails cited in a new court filing in the legal battle over the potential census question.

Recently leaked documents could impact an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging Texas' redistricting efforts.

Updated at 10:53 p.m. ET

A major Republican redistricting strategist played a role in the Trump administration's push to get a citizenship question on forms for the 2020 census.

The seal of the Republic of Texas on the floor of the Capitol rotunda
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal judge in San Antonio will hear arguments Thursday over whether Texas should have to clear its political maps with the federal government in 2021.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas Democrats are campaigning on the issue of how lawmakers draw political maps ahead of the 2018 elections. They say partisan gerrymandering is solely a state issue right now, because the U.S. Supreme Court didn't rule this term on whether the practice is legal.    

Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

The 2018 elections will move forward without any tweaks to Texas' political maps.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to uphold all but one of the state's political districts, a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio on Tuesday ordered that the state's maps should stay in place for this year's elections despite outstanding issues with House District 90.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Civil rights attorneys say the Supreme Court's decision Monday in a Texas redistricting case showed how difficult it is to prove discrimination in voting laws.

The Supreme Court mostly sided with Republican lawmakers in the case, which challenged state House and congressional maps. Plaintiffs had argued lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minorities when they drew up the maps.

The U.S. Supreme Court punted Monday on its biggest decision of its term so far. The justices had been expected to rule on the limits of partisan gerrymandering.

Instead, the court sidestepped the major issues on technical grounds, sending the issue back to the lower courts for further examination.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in a consolidated case challenging Texas' House maps and congressional districts. Both sets of maps were struck down by federal courts last year after judges ruled they intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters.

Austin Price/KUT

From Texas Standard.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a long-running Texas redistricting case. The dispute goes back to 2011, when Republicans in the state legislature drew Congressional and state legislative districts in a way designed to favor GOP candidates, and to move as many Democrats as possible into a few other districts.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today it won’t be hearing a challenge to the state’s political maps from the Texas Democratic Party. In a lawsuit, Democrats claimed state lawmakers drew political boundaries in 2011 in favor of Republicans.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear both of Texas’ redistricting appeals. The state’s congressional and statehouse maps were struck down by federal courts last year after judges ruled they intentionally discriminated against minorities.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a serious setback to those hoping Texas would see new congressional and House district maps ahead of the 2018 elections. 

In separate orders issued Tuesday, the high court blocked two lower court rulings that invalidated parts of those maps where lawmakers were found to have discriminated against voters of color. The justices’ 5-4 decisions stay the rulings — which would have required new maps — as they take up an appeal from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The U.S. Supreme Court did something out of the ordinary last week: It responded to an appeal when there was technically nothing to appeal.  

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

A lower court ruling that invalidated parts of the Texas House state map has been temporarily blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put on hold a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas' 36 congressional districts.

In an order signed by Justice Samuel Alito, the high court indicated it wanted to hear from the minority groups suing the state before the state's appeal of that ruling moves forward. The high court ordered the state's legal foes to file a response by Sept. 5 to the state's efforts to keep congressional district boundaries intact for the 2018 elections.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

In the past two decades, congressional maps in Texas have changed six times. Those changes have often been felt here in Austin.

“Well, our congressman went from being [Lloyd] Doggett, to being [Michael] McCaul, and now we're in Bill Flores’ district,” says Eric Calistri, a resident of North Austin who has lived in the same house for about two decades.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Parts of the Texas House map must be redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections because lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minorities in crafting a handful of districts, federal judges ruled on Thursday. 

A three-judge panel in San Antonio unanimously invalidated some of the state’s 150 state House districts, which will force lawmakers to correct violations. Specifically listed are districts in Bell, Dallas, Nueces and Tarrant counties.

Jim Malewitz / The Texas Tribune

If Gov. Greg Abbott calls a second special legislative session this summer, it won’t be for redistricting.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton revealed Friday that Abbott won't ask lawmakers to redraw the state's congressional map — found by a federal court this week to discriminate against Latino and black voters — in a fresh round of legislative overtime. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott told a radio program Wednesday he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court a federal ruling that could force state lawmakers to redraw two congressional districts in Texas before the 2018 elections.

Illustration by Anneke Paterson/Todd Wiseman

Federal judges have invalidated two Texas congressional districts, ruling that they must be fixed by either the Legislature or a federal court.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman

SAN ANTONIO — The state of Texas faced a healthy dose of judicial skepticism on Saturday as its lawyers laid out final arguments in a trial over whether lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in enacting current Texas House and Congressional district maps.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Mandy Blott, a psychologist living in East Austin, says she has always been somewhat plugged into politics. Her activism has ebbed and flowed through the years, but after the last presidential election, she decided to double down.

The first thing she did, she says, was look up her member of Congress.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

An article by New Yorker staff writer and Texas resident Lawrence Wright makes the case that Texas is a political bellwether. In "America's Future Is Texas," Wright argues that, indeed, as Texas goes, so goes the nation — politically speaking, at any rate.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday in a North Carolina gerrymandering case could have major implications for the drawing of political maps nationwide — including Texas' long-disputed redistricting maps.

In a 5-3 decision seen as a major victory for minority rights groups, the court struck down two North Carolina congressional districts, ruling that lawmakers illegally packed African-American voters into them, minimizing their political influence in the state.

Texas Legislative Council

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.

In Texas, there’s far more at stake in the 2016 election season than who takes the White House.

The state is battling with federal courts over the voter ID law. There’s dysfunction in the Texas Democratic and Republican parties. And demographic change is accelerating.

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