Battle for Texas District Reorganization and Map Redraw

San Antonio – – update: Texas will win two seats as a result of the 2020 census. This means that over the next decade, there will be 38 (and voting rights) members of the US House of Representatives in Texas. The constituency restructuring, the process of redrawing the political boundaries between Congress and the state legislature seats, is on the upcoming list of special sessions held by the Texas Legislature later this year.

Original story:

Changing constituencies is a complex process that helps define the political situation. The once-in-a-decade process will be repeated this year.

The Texas State Parliament will undertake the task of redrawing the lines of the State Parliament and the Parliamentary Map when it receives the results of the 2020 Census.

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These maps have been repeatedly challenged for decades for claims that they are unfairly benefiting certain political parties and voting groups.


In this episode of KSAT Explains, we’ll look at how this process has become controversial and delve into why this year’s process is expected to be different. (Watch the entire episode in the video player above.)

A categorization will be made every 10 years after the new US Census figures are released. The entire process is highly dependent on the state’s population and is essential for our representative in Washington, DC.

“Restrictions are related to the boundaries drawn in the constituencies, so whatever you elect in each constituency. You could be a state representative, a state senator, a parliament, a board of education, a city council, etc.” Nina Perales, vice president of litigation at the American Legislative and Defense Education Fund, said. “All these districts are redrawn every 10 years after the census, ensuring about the same population in each district.”


The census also determines the number of parliamentary seats each state receives. It’s not surprising that Texas is expected to win more seats as Texas’s population soars.

“Some states that aren’t growing as fast as others will lose parliamentary seats and Texas will be the biggest winner,” said UTSA Assoc, a professor of political science, Walter Wilson. Ph.D. “We will most likely get three new parliamentary seats, from 36 to 39.”

Census numbers need to be finalized before the map can be redrawn, and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly delayed these numbers, but the U.S. Census Bureau has stated that Texas has 4 million in the last decade. It has a population of more than one and is estimated to be higher than any other state.

The following video details the process of district restructuring.

KSAT Description: What is a re-district system?

Newly drawn maps can face years of litigation and legal issues.


One of the main reasons the mapping process has become so controversial is due to a controversial tactic called gerrymandering.

For decades, political parties in power have drawn district boundaries in their favor. The same is expected when Texas lawmakers draw the next set of maps. As a result, these maps are often designed in a variety of shapes and sizes.

As more demographic information became available, line drawing became more systematic.

“Gerrymandering is a term people have come up with to describe the demarcation of districts in a way that someone considers unfair,” Perales said.

(Image of “Gerrymandering” via Archives.gov and Boston Gazette.)

The term is historically derived from Elbridge Gerry, Governor of Massachusetts, a politician and diplomat in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Gerry was the signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Fifth Vice President of the United States. But he is probably best known for signing the infamous district restructuring bill.


Gerry belonged to the Democratic-Republican Party, which ruled the Massachusetts General Assembly at the time. Lawmakers have proposed to benefit the party from the state’s Senate constituency.

(The image is via Smithsonian.)

During that period, the district drew lines along the county boundaries, according to Smithsonian.

The new Senate map was randomly filled with federal opposition, but Gerry signed a constituency restructuring bill in February 1812.

Caricatures in the Boston Gazette portrayed the district as a mysterious-looking animal called the “Gerrymander,” a term that has taken hold for centuries.

How are districts portrayed unfairly and how do gerrymandering work? The video below shows the process using Tetris.

KSAT Description: The history behind gerrymandering and how it works in re-division
KSAT Description: The history behind gerrymandering and how it works in re-division

For nearly 50 years after the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, Texas was one of the few states subject to so-called pre-clearance.


“Pre-clearance is a very strong law, and states with a history of racism, such as Texas, basically need to get federal permission before changing election law,” the editor said. Scott Bradock said. At QuorumReport.com.

Texas has a deep history of oppressing voters through the constituency restructuring process. Pre-approval has provided protection against legislators drawing maps that oppress or deprive Latino and black voters throughout the state, but it still cannot stop legislators’ attempts. did.

Texas is less than a decade old without a federal court ruling that it violates federal law.

These maps were quickly challenged by voting groups who claimed that some districts with Latino and black voters were racially exaggerated. After that, a decade of legal struggle continued.


Civil rights experts say one of the reasons Texas lawmakers racist was to mitigate the impact of Texas’s burgeoning Latin population.

“In all rounds since Texas began restructuring its constituencies in the 1970s, courts and the Justice Department have determined that Texas is discriminating against Latin voters,” Perales said. “This is primarily because Texas has an ever-growing number of Latino voters, and Texas is hesitant to create districts that fairly reflect its growth, but that’s because of African America. It could be another racial group experiencing discrimination and re-elections, such as people and Asian-Americans, and there were examples of discrimination in the last constituency reorganization, not just Latino-Americans.

The situation for Texas district changes is expected to change dramatically this year as the US Supreme Court ruled in 2013 to revoke pre-clearance protection.


For the first time since 1965, this means that Texas lawmakers do not need to get federal approval to draw boundaries. It’s already becoming a years of battle in court.

“The lack of these protections on the front end means that Democrats in Parliament and those who represent the minority community in Parliament, and of course disproportionate Democrats, do due diligence at the front end of the legislative process. It means you have to, “Bradock said. “They are at the forefront of this and can no longer rely on Washington.”

The video below details the loss of pre-approval protection and what is expected after another court ruling that is expected to have a significant impact on Texas re-district system.

KSAT Description: Loss of prior permit protection in re-district system
KSAT Description: Loss of prior permit protection in re-district system

Click here for more information on how to attend a state public input session.

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Battle for Texas District Reorganization and Map Redraw

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