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
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.
- 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
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