Congressional Redistricting

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.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman

With the 2018 election cycle looming, a federal judge panel has set July 10 as the start date for a trial over the state’s House and congressional political maps.

In an order filed Monday, the three judges presiding over the case scheduled the five-day trial following a pair of rulings that found Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in initially drawing each map in 2011.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Several weeks ago, a federal court ruled Texas lawmakers intentionally diluted the voting power of minorities when it drew up congressional districts in 2011; last week the same court ruled the Texas House maps also were drawn with the intent to discriminate.

Today, the court begins hearings on how to remedy this situation, which could include requiring the state to get federal preclearance before any new maps or voting rules go into effect.

ILLUSTRATION BY ANNEKE PATERSON / TODD WISEMAN

A panel of federal judges in San Antonio found Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in some areas when they drew district maps for the Texas House of Representatives.

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.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Groups suing Texas over its political maps are asking a federal court to block the state's current congressional boundaries ahead of the November 2018 elections.

ILLUSTRATION BY ANNEKE PATERSON / TODD WISEMAN

Exactly one week ago, a federal court struck down congressional maps drawn by Texas lawmakers in 2011.

The court sided with plaintiffs in the case who said lawmakers racially gerrymandered the districts. Among the court's concerns was an Austin district.

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.

This week was a busy one for the U.S. Supreme Court. It ruled on cases involving three major issues: affirmative action, same sex marriage and voting rights. 

All three of these cases have national implications, but they also mean changes for Texans, too. 

flickr.com/60064824@N03

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its second big decision of the week, striking down part of the Voting Rights Act. Supporters praised the decision, calling it a step forward in eliminating antiquated aspects of the law. Opponents of the decision say it makes it easier to discriminate against minorities.

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

A plan to use court-drawn political boundaries is on its way to the full Texas Senate.

Today the Senate Committee on Redistricting approved the district boundaries set by a federal court in San Antonio for the 2012 elections.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

It was supposed to end last Monday.

After 140 days, lawmakers were supposed to pack up and head home. Instead we’re now a week into a special legislative session on congressional and legislative redistricting.

It was a week some thought might be the last for a short special session. But there's nothing quick or easy about redistricting.

KUT News

In this week’s PolitiFact Texas check-in, KUT’s Emily Donahue speaks with the Austin American-Statesman’s Gardner Selby about a comment by State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a Democrat from San Antonio and chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

He was talking up the need for the United States Supreme Court to uphold Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the civil rights legislation that originated in 1965. 



Image courtesy Texas Legislative Council

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.:  Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is asking a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio to stay the deadline for candidates to file for primary elections in the state House and Senate, as well as Texas's 36 congressional seats. The deadline is Thursday, but last week's ruling by the Supreme Court that putting redistricting maps for the state's legislative and congressional districts on hold until the justices can review them rendered that essentially moot. The high court won't hear oral arguments on that case until January 9.

Photo Illustration by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Forget everything. The candidate announcements, the relocations, the decisions not to run again, the who vs. who vs. who and the campaign finance. Poof!

With a one-paragraph order on Friday night, the U.S. Supreme Court froze the Texas congressional and legislative elections and replaced pre-holiday candidate filings, politicking and fundraising with uncertainty and chaos.

Photo illustration by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Controversial maps that redraw political boundaries in Texas will be sent to trial, delivering a blow to the Republican state lawmakers who dominated the redistricting process. A Washington D.C.-based federal court agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice that the state legislature used an improper standard for determining whether the new districts discriminate against minorities.

For some clarification on the ruling, we spoke to Jim Henson, a University of Texas professor of government and director of the Texas Politics Project.

KUT News: In plain language, what does this ruling mean?

Photo by KUT News.

Give Your Input on AISD Performing Arts Center

The Austin Independent School District is planning to build a district-wide Performing Arts Center at the Mueller redevelopment site. AISD will be gathering public input on the project tonight. As KUT previously reported, the district already bought the land for the facility: