redistricting

Texas Matters: This week's show is literally a literary lament (in one way or another). First, an interview with author Jeffrey Stuart Kerr about how Austin came to become the capitol. Crying foul over redistricting in Texas isn't exclusive to the Democratic party, as it is today, the story of the Republican party's go of it is covered in a new book edited by Gary Keith. Finally, Tom Walker, a writer based in San Antonio, talks about "Signed Confessions," a collection of short stories based on themes of guilt and desperation.

State of Texas District Viewer / http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us/

The chief legal counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is applauding Gov. Rick Perry for signing into law the interim voting maps, but said not having a Voting Rights Act leaves minority communities vulnerable.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

Nina Perales is the chief legal counsel for the MALDEF and said the supreme court has taken away a tool for fair and equitable state voting maps.

State of Texas District Viewer

A bill that would’ve decided the fate of voting maps for members of the Texas House initially failed to pass because of several extended phone conversations.

After waiting for over 15 minutes for Republican members to return to the hearing for a vote, an order was given to find the missing representatives.  

After a vote was cast, Rep Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, who is the committee chairman, asked to be excused to check the back offices for the missing Republicans.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Some House Republicans feel that too much time is being spent debating abortion legislation during the special session and not enough time on roads.

The House first assigned a set of four abortion bills to a select committee on Monday, giving the bills a later start than their Senate companions, but despite that there are some who feel the bills have a fighting chance.

State of Texas District Viewer / http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us/

Following several out-of-town hearings on the subject of redistricting, the Senate committee is back in Austin hearing various plans for changing the state’s voting maps, which included a plan from Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who said he borrowed his argument from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

"It concludes by saying -- in essence -- that while the Voting Rights Act may not require the creation of a crossover district, the purposeful dismantling of a crossover district would raise serious questions under the 14th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution," Watson said.

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