Redistricting

state redistricting commission
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Traditionally, state legislatures have been responsible for redistricting for state legislative and congressional districts. Since the landmark Supreme Court decisions of the 1960s that established the one-person, one-vote principle, a number of states have shifted redistricting of state legislative district lines from the legislature to a board or commission. There are pros and cons to removing the process from the traditional legislative process to a commission. Reformers often mistakenly assume that commissions will be less partisan than legislatures when conducting redistricting but that depends largely on the design of the board or commission.

13 states have a commission with primary responsibility for drawing a plan for state legislative districts. 5 states have an advisory commission that may assist the legislature with drawing the district lines and 5 states have a backup commission that will make the decision if the legislature is unable to agree.
NCSL – Redistricting Commissions: State Legislative Plans

 

Problem:
A suit challenging an adopted redistricting plan may be brought at any time under the federal or state constitution or federal law. Before 2013, Texas and certain other states were required to obtain federal pre clearance of any redistricting plans before they could be implemented. In 2013, the applicable provision of the federal Voting Rights Act was held invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Solution(s):

  • Create a primary non-partisan redistricting commission that could have the responsibility of redistricting for legislative bodies
  • Leave the redistricting process as it currently is

 

Texas Constitution
Code – Texas Constitution
Article – 3 Legislative Department
Section – 28 Time for Apportionment; Apportionment by Legislative Redistricting Board

 

Think Progress – Republican maps struck down as unconstitutional partisan gerrymander

Official Page – Texas Redistricting

Texas Secretary of State – Census and Redistricting FAQ

My San Antonio – A Texas way revealed on redistricting

League of Women Voters Texas – Redistricting

Ballotpedia – Redistricting in Texas

Politico – Supreme Court upholds Arizona redistricting commission

Center for American Progress – Should Millennials Rally Behind Nonpartisan Redistricting?

UC Irvine Law Review – Redistricting Commissions in the Western United States

PEW – Amid Court Fights, Some States Consider Redistricting Commissions

Common Cause – The State of Redistricting

NPR – Supreme Court Backs Arizona’s Redistricting Commission Targeting Gridlock

Think Progress – Texas Brags To Court That It Drew District Lines To ‘Increase The Republican Party’s Electoral Prospects’

Texas Tribune – First House Redistricting Maps Presented

Texas Tribune – Texas House Redistricting Maps: Before and After

Texas Tribune – DOJ Seeks to Stop Texas Voter ID, Redistricting Maps

Texas Tribune – AG Offers Redistricting Maps, Says Most Parties Agree

Houston Chronicle – Civil rights groups: Abbott owes $6 million for 2011 redistricting fight

Talking Points Memo – DOJ: Rick Perry’s Texas Congressional Redistricting Map Violates Voting Rights Act

PBS – North Carolina and Maryland challenge gerrymandering

The Nation – Exclusive: Zach Galifianakis Wants You to Know How Bad Gerrymandering Has Gotten

The Nation – Texas Redistricting Fight Shows Why Voting Rights Act Still Needed

Austin Chronicle – Prisoners of the Census

Washington Post – This is actually what America would look like without gerrymandering

Washington Post – This computer programmer solved gerrymandering in his spare time

US Census – So, How do You Handle Prisons?

Yes Magazine – Has Arizona Found a Solution to Gerrymandering?

Los Angeles Times – Gov. Brown approves citizens redistricting commission for L.A. County Board of Supervisors

Indiana Public Media – Redistricting Commission Debates Panel’s Possible Membership Rules

The Atlantic – The League of Dangerous Mapmakers

Columbia Daily Tribune – College student would be sole voter in CID sales tax decision