Mike Kueber's Blog

February 12, 2011

Redistricting in Texas – the first lawsuit

Filed under: Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 8:47 pm
Tags: , , ,

Based on the 2010 census, Texas and every other state with more than one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives are required to redistrict to comply with the “one person, one vote” requirement found (read-into) in the U.S. Constitution.  In most states, redistricting means gerrymandering – i.e., the party in control redistricts in such a way as to maximize the number of districts that it can win.  Usually this is done by crowding as many of the opponent’s voters as possible (90%+) into a few districts and spreading a working majority of your voters (55%+) in the other districts.  The Texas legislature will be allowed to be especially creative because its population growth have resulted in the state being awarded four additional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Because the Texas Democrats were so weakened by the latest election, they will not have any political strength to oppose Republican gerrymandering, but they will have legal strength through the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority districts.  Thus, pundits expect any Republican redistricting plan will be challenged in the courts based on the Voting Rights Act. 

But conservatives did not wait to be sued under the Voting Rights Act.  Even before redistricting has been seriously debated, conservatives have sued the state to prohibit any redistricting that considers residents who are not in the U.S. legally.  An article in the Texas Tribune describes the lawsuit.

You may recall that I have previously blogged about this major flaw in apportioning districts – i.e., it fails to distinguish between citizens and non-citizens.   Thus, one congressional district with 800,000 residents may have only 500,000 citizens, while another district with 800,000 residents may have 790,000 citizens.  There is a strong argument that that violates the principle of “one person, one vote.”

This is going to be an interesting issue to follow.

1 Comment »

  1. Interesting indeed. I believe the Democrats were successful in getting the Census Bureau to not distinguish between citizens and non-citizens for the 2010 Census. As a practical matter, I can’t imagine the Courts ordering a new 2010 Census be held.

    Comment by sandboxwalls — February 15, 2011 @ 5:34 am | Reply


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