Redistricting in Texas has been an issue of significant controversy since 2000 ( and even before but not as dramatic and consequential). First read some of the issues involved in 2000 and then read the issues involved in 2010 redistricting controversies including court cases responding to all questions concerning both separate but in many ways very connected cases, incidents and processes.
Redistricting is a highly partisan activity mandated indirectly by the required reapportionment of the constitution every decade. The House of Representatives state member allocations is dependent on an accurate population count and subsequent redistricting. “The primary reason for taking the census is to comply with the U.S. Constitutional mandate for data needed to reapportion the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. With the census data tapes in hand, states swiftly began to draw a seemingly infinite number of state legislative and congressional district plans to use in the elections.
In 2001-2004 following the 2000 mandated census redistricting in Texas adopted and then re adopted redistricting plans in an unusual manner. Eventually, state legislators adopted plans that were carefully crafted to satisfy a wide range of criteria including compliance with one-person one-vote, the federal Voting Rights Act and traditional redistricting principles such as compact and contiguous districts. In addition, legislators meticulously designed plans to further political goals without violating federal and state statutes. A couple of states, New Jersey and Virginia, had to draw plans for 2001 elections and almost all states had plans in place for the 2002 elections with the exception of Maine and Montana where redistricting is done prior to the 2004 election.” (NCLR) However, Texas re drew its districts at least twice. The first redistricting effort was under the direction of the courts and the other instance and latest with a new republican majority in the legislature.
This action of redistricting has been litigated in the Supreme Court (as often Texas legislation and policies are—with many found unconstitutional). The Supreme Court has ruled that much if not most of what Texas enacted during the 2000 decade was in fact constitutional but with one exception also a violation of minority voting rights.
The process with a little less drama repeated itself in 2010 but with different relevant Supreme Court rulings and a new interpretation of the voting rights act. 2010 again was the beginning of a decade in which Texas attempt to redistrict was again found incongruous with minority voting rights.
Discuss, after conducting your own research on the issues involved, that decision and the process in the U.S. Supreme Court. REMEMBER that the decisions and opinions of the Supreme Court change . Should the last ( following the 2010 census) redistricting of Texas congressional seats by the Texas legislature have been found in violation of the constitution and civil rights laws?
The most recent 2010-2012 process did in fact result in the plan being rejected over and over and over again. Outline the current (2010-2012 rejection of Texas redistricting efforts) and determine the fatal flaws and underlying values which undermine that process. What could be done to prevent this from occurring again?
The process is again heating with disputes still over data and boundaries and maps regarding current congressional ( and state legislative) districts. The basic argument again focuses on denial of minorities ( particularly in these cases Latino) voting rights.
You must show depth in your arguments and demonstrate your research so very long and many paragraphs with numerous academic citations are expected.
You do not have to discuss the concept/practice of redistricting or reapportionment but focus on the Texas process and the aftermaths of recent census on that process both in terms of legislative/political actions and court decisons.
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