Politicspoliticsthreejudgepaneltexasredistricting

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 08:35 PM

Federal Court: Texas Intentionally Gerrymandered Its Districts to Dilute Minority Votes

A couple of weeks ago the three judge panel found that Texas intentionally discriminated in the drawing of Congressional Districts. Today the court ruled that Texas also intentionally discriminated in the drawing of state house districts http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/04/20/federal_court_rules_texas_gerrymandered_districts_to_dilute_minority_votes.html

On Thursday, a three-judge federal court ruled that Texas intentionally discriminated against minority voters in drawing its state House district map in 2011. The decision follows a similar ruling by the same court in March holding that Texas also drew its federal congressional districts in an effort to dilute minority votes. Thursday’s ruling marks the third time in recent weeks that the federal judiciary has found Texas to have intentionally burdened its Hispanic voters.

The majority attached a 151-page findings of fact to its already lengthy opinion, reflecting careful analysis of Texas’ gerrymander that will be difficult for the Supreme Court to ignore on appeal. In short, the court found that Texas legislators drew multiple House districts that diluted Hispanics’ votes, a violation of both the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court also found that the legislature had engaged in race-based gerrymandering, which similarly runs afoul of equal protection and the VRA. Finally, the court concluded that the House map violated the one person, one vote principle by creating districts within unequal populations, another Equal Protection infringement.

Most critically, the majority held that Texas legislators had intentionally gerrymandered these districts in an effort to discriminate against Hispanics. That finding is key: If upheld, it means the court can place Texas back under “preclearance,” which would allow the Justice Department to veto all voting-related changes before they take effect. The Supreme Court gutted preclearance in 2013, but courts can still apply it to states that have been found to engage in deliberate voting discrimination. And although Attorney General Jeff Sessions is likely to sign off on whatever voter suppression measures Texas passes over the next few years, a future Democratic administration could preemptively halt future Texas laws.

Texas will appeal this decision, along with others invalidating its districts and voting laws, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. Civil rights advocates are nervous about their odds at the high court, where they’ll need the support of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who sometimes favors states’ rights to suppress the franchise. But thanks to Thursday’s comprehensive decision, Kennedy will, at the very least, have to grapple with hundreds of pages of proof that Texas’ absurdly gerrymandered districts are the product of legislative racism.
I have had fun this afternoon reading and enjoying the 171 page opinion and the 151 page Findings of Fact.

Texas is headed towards being bailed in under the Voting Rights Act. This is a very tight opinion that focuses only on the major violations that can be showed to be due to racial discrimination. The court found a ton of violations even using this type standard.

I am awaiting to see how many house seats may be flipped from GOP to Democratic control due to the ruling.

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Reply Federal Court: Texas Intentionally Gerrymandered Its Districts to Dilute Minority Votes (Original post)
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 OP
Shkreli Apr 2017 #1
StateUsernameHere Apr 2017 #5
Shkreli Apr 2017 #7
StateUsernameHere Apr 2017 #9
Moe Zarella Apr 2017 #19
Generically Speaking Apr 2017 #31
Moe Zarella Apr 2017 #33
Generically Speaking Apr 2017 #34
Moe Zarella Apr 2017 #37
Generically Speaking Apr 2017 #38
Moe Zarella Apr 2017 #39
Generically Speaking Apr 2017 #41
Moe Zarella Apr 2017 #51
Nostrings Apr 2017 #49
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #29
Shkreli Apr 2017 #40
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #43
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #2
Dumper Apr 2017 #3
Generically Speaking Apr 2017 #35
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #4
John Q Citizen Apr 2017 #6
Shkreli Apr 2017 #8
John Q Citizen Apr 2017 #10
Shkreli Apr 2017 #11
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #17
i verglas Apr 2017 #12
John Q Citizen Apr 2017 #15
i verglas Apr 2017 #16
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #21
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #18
i verglas Apr 2017 #23
John Q Citizen Apr 2017 #26
i verglas Apr 2017 #30
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #28
i verglas Apr 2017 #32
Valishin May 2017 #53
i verglas May 2017 #54
Valishin May 2017 #55
MeatSandwich Apr 2017 #13
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #20
Carl Apr 2017 #24
TexMex Apr 2017 #25
Carl Apr 2017 #27
TexMex Apr 2017 #42
Letmypeoplevote May 2017 #59
MeatSandwich Apr 2017 #44
Letmypeoplevote May 2017 #58
MeatSandwich May 2017 #60
fszwfnj Apr 2017 #14
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #22
Lifelong Apr 2017 #36
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #47
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #45
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #46
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #48
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2017 #50
Letmypeoplevote May 2017 #52
Letmypeoplevote May 2017 #56
Letmypeoplevote May 2017 #57
kevlar May 2017 #61

Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 08:39 PM

1. Controlling the voting districts is essential to democracy! All voters are not created equal!

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Response to Shkreli (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:07 PM

5. Oh? please explain your view.

 

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Response to StateUsernameHere (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:40 PM

7. I just did...no?

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Response to Shkreli (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:55 PM

9. "All voters are not created equal!"

 

What do you mean by this?

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Response to StateUsernameHere (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 03:20 PM

19. It's a not-so clever racist remark. The Right thinks minorities should not get to vote. They

 

think all minorities should go back where they came from, well except the American Indians.

Republicans have to gerrymander to win. They hate democracy.

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Response to Moe Zarella (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:35 PM

31. Your post shows how little, how absolutely little you know about the right

other than what you've been told to think.

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Response to Generically Speaking (Reply #31)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:39 PM

33. Your rebuttal lacks substance. The post is a good example of the bigotry of the Right Wing.

 

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Response to Moe Zarella (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:42 PM

34. When is the last time you sat down with a person on the right and carried on a conversation?

without insults, without getting mad, with an open mind? I'm guessing never.

You'd learn something. But you won't do that. You'll just go on with what you're told to think.

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Response to Generically Speaking (Reply #34)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:52 PM

37. What does that even have to do with the subject of the Right Wing being bigoted?

 

I've never know people with more closed minds that the Right Wing. As you show us, the Right can't engage in a discussion without insults. When you call Rachel Maddow, Rick, that is bigoted. It's done on purpose so the person that does it needs to own it.

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Response to Moe Zarella (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:58 PM

38. Because if you actually, you know, in person, sat down with someone from the right

you'd find out we are not bigoted.

I NEVER called Maddow Rick. She's not a bad looking dude, but I never called her Rick. (That is called "humor". You might want to look up the definition).

I supposed Bushitler, Chimpy and so on wasn't bigoted when your side was doing it? How about orange cheeto, Trumpenfurher. You guys do it, so, using your rules, I get to do it.

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Response to Generically Speaking (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 08:12 PM

39. Making fun of someone's sexual orientation is bigotry no matter how funny you think

 

it is. I find the Right doesn't like the gay community, the non-white community, intellectuals, etc.

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Response to Moe Zarella (Reply #39)

Sat Apr 22, 2017, 09:59 AM

41. That's a crock n/t

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Response to Generically Speaking (Reply #41)

Thu Apr 27, 2017, 09:39 PM

51. And that proves my point. The Right has nothing but insults.

 

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Response to Moe Zarella (Reply #39)

Thu Apr 27, 2017, 04:25 PM

49. Says the poster whos party uses 'CIS' as a derogatory term intended to marginalize.

You don't get to argue that point anymore.

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Response to Shkreli (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:31 PM

29. The GOP can only win by suppressing the vote

The gop cannot win in fair elections and so the GOP has to cheat by suppressing the vote

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 11:23 PM

40. There is nothing "fair" about letting Democrats vote. They are anti-civilization.

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Response to Shkreli (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 22, 2017, 05:40 PM

43. Silly but sad conservative

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 08:43 PM

2. From one of the attorneys at the Brennan Center

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 08:53 PM

3. Are those contorted, long, skinny districts designed to assure a Black's election still legal?

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Response to Dumper (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:44 PM

35. It's how Cynthia McKinney got elected. I'm not sure if it's still drawn that way n/t

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 10:46 PM

4. Yet Again, Court Finds Intentional Racial Discrimination In Texas Voting Rights Case

Texas was caught engaging in intentional racial discrimination yet again http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/texas-intent-racial-gerrymandering

A divided 3-judge panel of federal judges ruled Thursday that the Texas legislature in 2011 drew its state house districts with the intention of diluting minority voters.

“With regard to the intentional vote dilution claims under § 2 and the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court finds that Plaintiffs proved their claims in El Paso County (HD78), Bexar County (HD117), Nueces County (the elimination of HD33 and the configuration of HD32 and HD34), HD41 in the Valley, Harris County, western Dallas County (HD103, HD104, and HD105), Tarrant County (HD90, HD93), Bell County (HD54), and with regard to Plan H283 as a whole,” the two-to-one decision, issued from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, said.

The finding is part of a pattern for the Texas legislature. A voter ID law it passed in 2011 has twice been found to have been enacted with intention of discrimination against minorities by a federal judge—the second time after using a higher legal standard laid out by an appeals court. The same panel of judges who decided Thursday’s ruling also found that the Texas legislature drew a handful of U.S. House districts in way that amounted to illegal racial gerrymandering.

A finding of intentional racial discrimination in violation of the Voting Rights Act risks putting Texas back under what is known as pre-clearance, the VRA process requiring certain states and localities to get federal approval for changes to their election laws. Texas was previously under the pre-clearance regime until the Supreme Court in 2013’s Shelby County v. Holder gutted the formula determining the pre-clearance states under section 5 of the VRA.

Time will tell if the judges in those cases will seek to put Texas back under pre-clearance via section 3, which still stands. It is likely Texas will appeal those cases, given its history of fighting voting rights decision against it tooth-and-nail, meaning that the Supreme Court may get to weigh in on the state’s relationship with the Voting Right Act.
It will be interesting to see how many seats will be picked up

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:28 PM

6. Good. Cheaters never prosper and in the end the truth will

out.

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Response to John Q Citizen (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:40 PM

8. In the end there is no truth.

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Response to Shkreli (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:56 PM

10. Spoken like a real godless conservative.

"What is real but compassion as we move from birth to death?
And I'm looking for Rex Roth's daughter and I'm running out of breath".- Greg Brown



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Response to John Q Citizen (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:56 PM

11. I am what you made me. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

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Response to John Q Citizen (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 03:02 PM

17. It helps to have good lawyers

The NAACP and MALDF have both done amazing jobs in this litigation. This case has been going on since 2011 and we are finally getting some results with some hope that we will have new boundaries for 2018. Chad Dunn (the outside counsel for the Texas Democratic Party) predicted this ruling a couple of weeks ago at a meeting of the county Democratic lawyers group. Chad was right.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 12:08 AM

12. I'm curious - is an argument ever made for reverse gerrymandering?

 

It's an issue here in Canada, because of minority communities of the two official languages/cultures.

In New Brunswick, for example, the Acadian population. They are a minority within the population of the province, but there are communities where they are the majority. If they are a minority in every electoral district (composed of several communities), however, they are pretty much assured of having no representation at all.

The very good argument is that boundaries should be drawn to recognize their entitlement to representation and to a voice as a community whose interests are not identical to the majority's -- for example, their interest in being able to get health care and education in French -- by not lumping all majority-Acadian communities in with English-speaking communities and thus diluting their vote to ineffectiveness.

I'm guessing this argument would not fly, south of the border.

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Response to i verglas (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 04:14 AM

15. There have been judicial remedies that require districts cut so groups get representation,

particularly where you can show a pattern of behavior to discriminate.

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Response to John Q Citizen (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 10:43 AM

16. okay, I'll poke around at that when I have a minute

 

It's interesting because of the whole argument -- one the right wing is fond of -- that our systems are not "democracies" in the direct-democracy sense, and so "one person, one vote" is not the overriding principle.

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Response to John Q Citizen (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 03:35 PM

21. Here is a good meme on the Efficiency Gap Theory

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Response to i verglas (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 03:16 PM

18. There are two types of gerrymandering-Partisan and racial

First, I am not sure as to the law in Canada. In the US, most cases are based on racial gerrymandering. However the concept of partisan gerrymandering is being used by one court. In 2006, Justice Kennedy held that partisan gerrymandering was also illegal but there was no way to measure it. The attorneys got busy and the concept of the Efficiency Gap was developed. The three judge panel in Wisconsin adopted this theory and the case will heard by the SCOTUS. https://www.discussionist.com/10151278608 See also https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/us/democrats-gerrymander-supreme-court.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=1

The Texas case in the OP is based solely on racial gerrymandering in that the Texas GOP intentionally discriminated against minorities.

Your point is being discussed by the election law bar. There are some who worried that the adoption of partisan gerrymandering will hurt racial gerrymandering case. Since the Wisconsin court is the first to adopt the partisan gerrymandering concept and the efficiency gap theory it will take some time to sort this out. However in response to your question, the adoption of the efficiency gap theory could affect the type of gerrymandering you describe.

I hope that this helps.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 04:23 PM

23. we don't really have the problem because redistricting is done by an independent body

 

As independent as any appointed body is, but we don't put up with partisanship much. And decisions can be appealed to Parliament, as a few sometimes are.

I do some reading on redistricting in the course of my work -- it only comes up only periodically. There is no real partisan gerrymandering here -- what minority communities ask for is itself a kind of affirmative gerrymandering.

Here, first up on a google; you might be interested.

Redistricting: something Canada does better
Yeah, written by a Canadian. He knows whereof you speak --
Such clever craftsmanship has ensured many American ridings are now hideous Frankensteinan abominations that ignore any readily apparent principle of geography, history, or identity that one might assume important in representative democracy. Completely artificial “communities” that brazenly exist only for the purpose of politics, they lack even the decency of an organic name to tie them to the real world. Chances are, a man who describes himself as living in his state’s “sixth district” is offering no useful geographic information about himself whatsoever, other than in which Congressman’s fiefdom he happens to reside.

Compare this elegant, clean map of Texas’ counties, for instance, to this wonky and gross map of their Congressional districts. There is no shortage of legitimate municipalities, burgs, and regions to be represented in Congress. Sad then, that so many Congressmen wind up representing made-up ones.
But hm, he also says this:
In an effort to get more blacks (and later, Hispanics) into Congress, sections 2 and 5 of the Act have been understood to enshrine a right to “minority-majority” districts, that is to say, districts where minorities will always be able to vote in “one of their own.” Of course, the whole point of being a minority is that you are demographically not in the majority; many M-M districts thus have to be wildly gerrymandered to snag pockets of blacks or Latinos in surrounding communities, often through long, thin, lasso-like land columns that glide carefully through white neighborhoods, avoiding as many Caucasians as possible along the way.
And that is actually what communities like the Acadians want to see.

On the Canadian system:
Increasingly unpopular, partisan redistricting in Canada finally ended in 1964 with the Peason government’s passage of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. Under the terms of the new legislation, parliamentary ridings could henceforth only be modified by special non-partisan committees residing in each province. Each redistricting committee would consist of one provincial judge and two individuals appointed by Canada’s apolitical Speaker of the House, and their decisions could only be overturned by parliament in the case of exceptional, and provable, concern.

The Act further prescribed that parliamentary ridings were to be drawn in conformity with some clear “community of interest or community of identity” already existing in the province, and set limits on the degree to which borders were allowed to deviate from their historic status quo.
It is that “community of interest or community of identity” that challenges here turn on.

When I moved out of the big city two years ago to a small city, I was unprepared for two things: the complete absence of any useful public transit, and the fact that I was now living in the heart of Tory land. My riding includes the small city in question, and great swathes of Conservative heartland farm country, little places with little municipal councils composed entirely of white-haired white male farmers, with which I have no community of interest or identity at all. I didn't even bother voting strategically Liberal in the hope of defeating a Conservative, where the NDP candidate was a no-hoper; the Liberal too was destined for defeat. Got to vote my conscience ... and lose my voice.

Which is why I support some form of proportional representation -- but know that by the next election, the one that Justin Trudeau promised would not be held under the existing first past the post system, none of his fans will remember, or care. First past the post got them a majority government with a minority of votes, so why would he change it, or they care?

Anyway, I always read the stuff here about gerrymandering and vote suppression with interest!

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Response to i verglas (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:22 PM

26. Here states all do there own apportionment of voters

to districts, so there are 50 ways to arrive at your voters.

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Response to John Q Citizen (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:34 PM

30. exactly

 

And run their own presidential elections, too.

To each their own!

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Response to i verglas (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:29 PM

28. I agree that Canada does redistricting better than the US

A bill to adopt independent redistricting commission died in the Texas legis a couple of weeks ago

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:35 PM

32. and the test will be

 

whether a future Democratic legislature will adopt it, or just gerrymander blithely away to suit itself.

Kinda like Justin Trudeau promising the abolish the electoral system that put him in power, and everybody being so disappointed when he changed his mind.

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Response to i verglas (Reply #12)

Mon May 1, 2017, 09:34 PM

53. This is

how gerrymandering started, it was originally put in place by the left to ensure representation of minorities by drawing districts to be overwhelmingly minority heavy.

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Response to Valishin (Reply #53)

Mon May 1, 2017, 10:03 PM

54. hm, not really

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering#United_States

The United States, among the first with an elected representative government, eventually named the practice. Incidents precede the 1789 election of the First U.S. Congress. In 1788, Patrick Henry and his Anti-Federalist allies were in control of the Virginia House of Delegates. They drew the boundaries of Virginia's 5th congressional district in an unsuccessful attempt to keep James Madison out of the U.S. House of Representatives.

... State legislatures have used gerrymandering along racial lines both to decrease and increase minority representation in state governments and congressional delegations. In the state of Ohio, a conversation between Republican officials was recorded that demonstrated that redistricting was being done to aid their political candidates. Furthermore, the discussions assessed race of voters as a factor in redistricting, because African-Americans had backed Democratic candidates. Republicans apparently removed approximately 13,000 African American voters from the district of Jim Raussen, a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives, in an attempt to tip the scales in what was once a competitive district for Democratic candidates.

With the Civil Rights Movement and passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, federal enforcement and protections of suffrage for all citizens were enacted. Gerrymandering for the purpose of reducing the political influence of a racial or ethnic minority group was prohibited. After the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, some states created "majority-minority" districts to enhance minority voting strength. This practice, also called "affirmative gerrymandering", was supposed to redress historic discrimination and ensure that ethnic minorities would gain some seats and representation in government. In some states, bipartisan gerrymandering is the norm. State legislators from both parties sometimes agree to draw congressional district boundaries in a way that ensures the re-election of most or all incumbent representatives from both parties.

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Response to i verglas (Reply #54)

Tue May 2, 2017, 02:34 AM

55. Fair enough

my verbiage was poor, I was referring specifically to the modern implementation which has been to solidify party influence as opposed to a means to attack specific groups or individuals. But my original point still remains the anti-federalists who would be today's leftist started the process. As was also the case for "affirmative gerrymandering" a process used to ensure minorities would win at least some representation which started the modern trend of gerrymandering escalation which is what I was referencing. Its a good example of road of good intentions and where that leads.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 01:10 AM

13. The USSC will overturn all these lower court judges. Should be fun to watch.

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Response to MeatSandwich (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 03:22 PM

20. The Texas opinion was narrow and designed to appeal to Justice Kennedy

Both yesterday's opinion and the earlier opinion on congressional districts were designed for Justice Kennedy. These opinions only held clear cases of racial gerrymandering invalid and there were several closer incidents that the court passed on. The law review types have read Justice Kennedy's opinions and the judges in this case tailored their ruling to appeal to Justice Kennedy.

I know that a couple of the counties discussed involved GOP games but the court did not find racial gerrymandering and so left these counties intact. It is a novel concept but the lawyers in this case and the judges know who the swing vote and this opinion was designed for Justice Kennedy who has ruled on this issue before.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #20)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 04:35 PM

24. So isnt that technically a form of gerrymandering of its own?

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Response to Carl (Reply #24)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 05:00 PM

25. I don't think so (not an attorney)

 

The legislature will have to redraw the maps, and then a judge reviews them. The judge won't draw new maps.

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Response to TexMex (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:23 PM

27. I meant the attempt at crafting the wording to appeal to a particular judge.

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Response to Carl (Reply #27)

Sat Apr 22, 2017, 02:14 PM

42. Ah, got it. Whether its Heller v. D.C, Roe v. Wade or this case

 

This is how big cases in general, are crafted. Lawyers build these with great care and lots of in-depth strategizing to win. Whether it's smart, sneaky, or underhanded is really dependant which side you take in a given case.

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Response to Carl (Reply #24)

Mon May 22, 2017, 10:29 PM

59. Court asks Texas whether it will voluntarily redistrict in light of North Carolina decision

This is not good news for Texas http://txredistricting.org/post/160966922506/court-asks-texas-whether-it-will-voluntarily

The three-judge panel in the Texas redistricting case issued an order late Monday, asking the State of Texas to advise the court by May 26 whether it would “voluntarily undertake redistricting in a special session” in light of a decision by the Supreme Court upholding the invalidation of two of North Carolina’s congressional districts. That case - which involved the contention that the two districts had been drawn with excessive focus on race - is similar to claims being made by both African-American and Latino plaintiffs in the Texas case.

The court also invited parties in the Texas case to file briefs by June 6 about the impact of the North Carolina decision on their claims.

The court is scheduled to hold a trial in July on claims regarding Texas’ 2013 state house and congressional maps.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 23, 2017, 01:43 AM

44. Just in case you didn't understand it the first time around.

The USSC will overturn all these lower court judges. Should be fun to watch.

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Response to MeatSandwich (Reply #13)

Mon May 22, 2017, 10:27 PM

58. Really?

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #58)

Mon May 22, 2017, 10:31 PM

60. You left out that the lines will stay in place since they were drawn after the lower court decision.

So, what exactly did you win? Answer: nothing.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 01:24 AM

14. This should prove interesting as it unfolds

If intentionally Gerrymandering districts to dilute minority votes is illegal it should also mean intentionally Gerrymandering to consolidate minority votes is illegal. Something done all the time. I say pull out the maps and draw nice straight lines in a sensible way and a district is simply a geographic boundary.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 03:37 PM

22. Court: Texas House map intentionally diluted minority votes

The Texas cases each involved racial gerrymandering. https://www.texastribune.org/2017/04/20/court-texas-house-map-intentionally-diluted-votes/

Texas lawmakers intentionally diluted the political clout of minority voters in drawing the state's House districts, a panel of federal judges ruled Thursday.

In a long-awaited ruling, the San Antonio-based panel found that lawmakers in 2011 either violated the U.S. Constitution or the Voting Rights Act by intentionally diluting the strength of minority voters statewide and specifically in a litany of House districts across Texas. Those districts encompass areas including El Paso, Bexar, Nueces, Harris, Dallas and Bell counties.

“The impact of the plan was certainly to reduce minority voting opportunity statewide, resulting in even less proportional representation for minority voters,” U.S. District Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriguez wrote in a majority opinion, adding that map-drawers’ discussions “demonstrated a hostility” toward creating minority-controlled districts despite their massive population growth.


In some instances, the judges ruled, map-drawers’ use of race to configure some districts to comply with the Voting Rights Act instead “turned the VRA on its head.”

“Instead of using race to provide equal electoral opportunity, they intentionally used it to undermine Latino voting opportunity,” they added.

The court also sided with plaintiffs on the issue of improper racial gerrymandering in Bexar County and violations of the one person, one vote rule — which requires districts to be drawn with roughly equal populations — in the drawing of nine House districts in Nueces, Hidalgo, Bell and Lampasas counties.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:47 PM

36. Everyone knows the only way the right can win is by cheating.

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Response to Lifelong (Reply #36)

Tue Apr 25, 2017, 07:51 PM

47. Yep

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Mon Apr 24, 2017, 08:02 PM

45. Victory! Court strikes down Texas's GOP-drawn state House gerrymander over racial discrimination

The State party chair thinks that the Democrats will pick up at least 10 state house seats due this ruling http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/4/20/1654826/-Victory-Court-strikes-down-Texas-GOP-drawn-state-House-gerrymander-over-racial-discrimination

Late on Thursday, a federal district court struck down the state House map that Texas Republicans drew in 2011 on the grounds that it intentionally engaged in racial discrimination in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the 14th Amendment, and the “one person, one vote” principle. This major voting rights victory could subsequently result in Republican legislators having to draw a new map for the 2018 elections that would give black and Latino voters the ability to elect their preferred candidates in more districts, most likely Democrats.

Thursday’s ruling follows two separate recent court decisions that invalidated the Texas GOP’s congressional map and strict voter ID law, and all three crucially held that Republicans intentionally racially discriminated. This illicit racial intent could be grounds for forcing Texas to seek Justice Department approval for all new voting-law changes for up to ten years, which it previously had to do until the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unlikely to block new oppressive voting laws, a future Democratic administration could.

Making matters more complicated, federal courts had blocked the 2011 map from taking effect in full, imposing temporary changes ahead of the 2012 cycle that still largely left the original gerrymander in place. However, Republican legislators later passed a new plan in 2013 to make most of those changes permanent. That means there will have to be a separate legal challenge to that plan too since it’s the one currently in existence, but that litigation should be much easier and quicker if Thursday’s ruling against the original 2011 map stands.

Absurdly, this case has been ongoing ever since 2011, and litigants completed their arguments all the way back in 2014. Plaintiffs had rightly been outraged that the court was dragging its feet on issuing its ruling. Republicans have potentially gotten away with an illegal racial gerrymander for a majority of this decade, demonstrating how it pays to illegally gerrymander, since the court of course can’t invalidate the last three election results held under the existing map.

There’s still a long way to go before this litigation concludes, and it infuriatingly still might not be over in time to affect the 2018 elections. This ruling will also have to survive a likely appeal to the Supreme Court, but given swing Justice Anthony Kennedy’s frequent recent hostility to racial gerrymandering, there’s a good chance of success. If the plaintiffs ultimately prevail, Texas could end up with new state House districts that increase representation for black and Latino voters, and consequently Democrats too.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Tue Apr 25, 2017, 07:50 PM

46. For this thread

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Apr 27, 2017, 04:22 PM

48. The status hearing on this case went well today

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Apr 27, 2017, 06:43 PM

50. Ahead of 2018, trial likely looms in Texas political map battle

Here is some more on the status hearing in the Texas redistricting lawsuit https://www.texastribune.org/2017/04/27/trial-likely-looms-texas-political-map-battle/

SAN ANTONIO — As the 2018 election cycle nears, it appears Texas and its legal foes are headed for a trial — yet again — over what the state’s House and congressional boundaries will look like, and it will likely come this summer.

“I think the trial is certain,” said Jose Garza, an attorney for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, a lead plaintiff in the years-long challenge of the state’s political boundaries. “At the end of the day, we’re going to get new political maps, and the court’s going to draw them.”

His comments followed a lengthy and complicated hearing Thursday over the fate of the state’s 2013 House and congressional maps — a high-profile status conference that followed a pair of federal rulings that Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in initially drawing each map in 2011.

Judge Orlando Garcia, one of the three judges presiding over the case here, said the panel would issue an order Monday “covering several matters that have been raised today.”

That order, Garza said, would likely include a target date for the trial, setting up the latest battle amid six years of wrangling — laced with confusion — over the state’s recently drawn maps. Attorneys on both sides Thursday suggested they could be ready in July or August.

Local elections administrators say they need clarity by October to meet deadlines for sending out voter registration cards, and December is the filing deadline for candidates.
On Monday, there will be ruling that I will have fun reading.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Mon May 1, 2017, 08:47 PM

52. Expedited Texas Redistricting Trial on Remaining Voting Rights Claims July 10 Before Three Judge Cou

This is fast. A trial has been scheduled starting July 10 on the Texas redistricting case https://electionlawblog.org/?p=92322

This extremely long running case will be coming to a conclusion with a 5 day trial on July 10, followed by an inevitable appeal directly to the Supreme court

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Sun May 7, 2017, 10:11 PM

56. Voting Rights Roundup: July court trial could force Texas GOP to draw new congressional map for 2018

This trial will be fun to watch http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/5/6/1655947/-Voting-Rights-Roundup-July-court-trial-could-force-Texas-GOP-to-draw-new-congressional-map-for-2018

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The three-judge federal district court panel overseeing two racial gerrymandering challenges to the congressional and state House maps that Texas Republicans drew in 2011 has ordered that an expedited trial take place for five days starting on July 10 over whether the current maps are invalid. Absurdly, this litigation has been ongoing ever since 2011, but if the plaintiffs prevail, it would finally pave the way for Republican legislators to have to draw new congressional and state House districts for the 2018 elections that would result in black and Latino voters being able to elect their preferred candidates in additional districts.

​This same court panel struck down the GOP’s congressional gerrymander in March and did the same for the state House map in April, both over intentional racial discrimination. However, they did not impose any remedy because neither map was still in effect. Federal courts had blocked the GOP’s original 2011 maps from ever being used and had imposed temporary lines for the 2012 elections. Republican legislators largely made those changes permanent in 2013, and plaintiffs will be arguing to invalidate those 2013 maps this summer, since those lines still largely resemble the original 2011 districts.

Given the judges’ recent rulings against the 2011 maps and the fact that some of the challenged 2013 districts are literally the exact same as those the court deemed illegal, there is a strong chance that the plaintiffs will prevail after this latest trial. Republican legislators would almost certainly appeal any such ruling directly to the Supreme Court, but swing Justice Anthony Kennedy’s recent pattern of siding with the court’s liberals on racial gerrymandering cases is an encouraging sign for opponents of Republican abuses of the practice.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Mon May 22, 2017, 10:19 PM

57. Supreme Court's ruling on North Carolina redistricting strikes down a Texas line of defense

This makes me smile https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/22/north-carolina-redistricting-ruling-strikes-down-texas-line-defense/

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.

And in doing so, some experts say, the justices weakened a key argument that North Carolina, Texas and other southern states have made while defending gerrymandering that seemed to target minority voters: That such efforts were legal, so long as they were motivated by politics — and not race.

For years, courts have wrangled with a tough question: How to untangle the roles of race and partisanship in redistricting, the once-per-decade exercise of redrawing political maps to accommodate changing populations. It’s a crucial exercise because partisan gerrymandering is broadly viewed as constitutional, while race-based map-drawing is not.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #57)

Mon May 22, 2017, 10:48 PM

61. Now where I have seen this before

most pathetic of posters?

Of course, you have pasted it several times on many threads.

Pretty lonely down here at the end of the threads you keep bumping.

LOLing @ propagandist.

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