The Texas Constitution: Redistriction In The United States

Good Essays
According to the Texas Secretary of State website, “Article III, Section 28, of the Texas Constitution requires the Texas Legislature to redistrict both houses (the Texas House of Representatives and Texas State Senate) at its first regular session after publication of the federal decennial census.” ( The Texas Tribune describes the purpose of redistricting as equalizing the population in state and congressional districts after the census is published, and ensuring that minority populations are represented. (7) Gerrymandering is re-drawing these geographical boundaries to give a particular political party a numeric advantage over an opposing party. Texas history is rich with examples…show more content…
However, when the lines were redrawn in 1961, Harris County only represented by just one senate district. Additionally in 1961, a federal court ruled that the “Texas constitutional provision that restricted each county to one senator” was unconstitutional (Kilgarlin v. Martin). (9) In the 1964 US Supreme Court case, Reynolds v. Sims, the court upheld the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and ruled that the lines for state legislative districts should be drawn to make them "as nearly equal of population as is practicable" and not be based on geography alone.…show more content…
House representatives from 30 to 32, which meant redrawing the maps. At that time, each party controlled one chamber of the state legislature and became deadlocked on the redrawn districts. A Federal court stepped in and provide one which gave the Democrats a 17 to 15 advantage. Republicans gained control of both the House and Senate in 2002, and House Majority Leader Tom Delay beginning negotiating redistricting to better reflect the Texas voters, which were primarily Republicans, in the U.S. House of Representatives. (14) Before finally approving the redistricting plan, Democratic legislators twice fled the state to prevent a quorum in the House. The plan ultimately passed, but it ended up before the Supreme Court. The court ruled that the state would have to adjust the district lines and submit the changes to the court for approval before the November election. Tom Delay was indicted on “state charges of illegally diverting money to the campaigns of state legislators who drew the map” and forced to resign his position.(14) The most recent case of gerrymandering began in 2011 when the Republican legislature redrew the congressional district maps based on the 2010 census. On May 10, 2017, federal judges ruled that Republicans racially (unlawfully) gerrymandered three congressional districts along racial lines in order to maximize the party’s changes to retain the seats, and to weaken the growing electoral power of
Get Access