By the end of this summer Texas could have new voting maps for Congressional and State House districts.

A panel of federal judges ruled on Friday that three of Texas' congressional districts are illegal, violating the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The panel found that Republicans had used race as a motivating factor in redistricting.

Judges Xavier Rodriguez and Orlando Garcia wrote the court's decision, which comes after a protracted and complex legal battle that began when the new districts were drawn in 2011, following the last census.


This year, all 36 of Texas’ congressional representatives are up for re-election, but only one of those races is considered by most observers to actually be competitive. When it comes to state house and senate races, the vast majority of those aren’t terribly competitive either. That’s due, in large part, to a lot of the districts in the state are drawn with an overwhelming majority of one party or another.

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.


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