redistricting

supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday in favor of keeping intact the way Texas counts people for state senate districts. It was called the one man - one vote case - and it was seen a victory for the Democrats.  But it's not over yet.

Guests:

  • Michael Li, senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice
  • Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in constitutional studies for the Cato Institute

There was an unusual scene at Florida's Capitol building in Tallahassee this week. To comply with a court order, legislative staffers used a computer program to randomly assign new numbers to Florida's 40 state Senate districts.

It's the latest in a series of moves that have reshaped politics in the Sunshine State. The political ground shifted recently when the courts approved new maps for congressional districts and the state Senate. The maps are the result of laws that aim to eliminate gerrymandering: drawing districts to benefit one political party or another.

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could have far-reaching implications for the way legislative districts in Texas — and across the country — are drawn. A coalition of Texas legislators, mostly Democrats, fears that if voters suing the state succeed, minority communities will have significantly reduced political power.

Flickr user Adam Fagen (afagen) / cc

The US Supreme Court this week agreed to hear a Texas case that challenges how people are counted when state senate districts are drawn in redistricting maps. Presently everyone is counted – voters and non-eligible voters – citizens and non-citizens.

The case Evenwel vs. Abbott argued that requiring states to switch to counting only citizens would “ensure that voters are afforded the basic right to an equal vote.”

Nina Perales is an attorney for MALDEF – the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund which is closing watching this case.  

David Martin Davies / TPR News

In the political battles over voting rights in Texas frequently the accusation is made that redistricting and voter ID are driven by attempts to reduce the impact of minority voters in the state. It’s a charge that the Republicans behind the laws and maps flatly deny. However a new book “Latinos and the Voting Rights Act,” builds a case that voter ID and redistricting are designed exactly to reduce Hispanic voter outcomes.

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