Monday, August 15, 2022

Play

President Biden this week is poised to sign into law sweeping legislation that addresses climate change and prescription drug costs; Measuring the Supreme Court abortion decision's impact in the corporate world; Disaster recovery for Eastern Kentucky businesses.

Play

Federal officials warn about threats against law enforcement; Democrats push their climate, health, and tax bill through Congress; and a new report reveals 800 Americans were evacuated during the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Texas Redistricting Plan Still Faces Hurdles

Play

Friday, July 22, 2011   

WASHINGTON, D. C. - Texas' redistricting plan, which was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry this week, requires federal clearance before it can be implemented. Attorney General Greg Abbott asked a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C., for that approval Tuesday.

It's the first time Texas has opted for the courts rather than the Department of Justice to review new political maps for congressional, legislative, and State Board of Education districts. The state is allowed to choose between administrative and court venues to hear arguments that its plan complies with provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act that guarantee adequate minority representation.

Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, a progressive research organization, says the state's decision to bypass the administrative option is politically strategic.

"It filed with the D.C. District Court because it knows that venue will be much more expensive for those people who oppose their actions. And they don't have to worry about their own legal bills, because the Texas taxpayers pick up the bill for the Republicans."

An administrative filing would cost the state around $100,000, says Angle, compared to as much as $1 million with the court approach. He thinks the objective was simply to make the fight costlier for opponents, and predicts the state's redistricting efforts will eventually be deemed illegal.

Republicans have argued that they were unable to draw minority opportunity districts in certain parts of the state because the maps would not have been deemed compact enough. Critics, however, point to unwieldy legislative maps as evidence that the Republican argument is inconsistent. In its filing, the state says its new maps will in no way abridge anyone's right to vote based on their minority status. But Angle says the Texas plan actually takes a step backward when it comes to minority representation.

"It defies logic that a state could pick up four Congressional seats - all of them due to the increase in Black and Hispanic growth - and Republicans be allowed to have fewer districts that provide minorities an opportunity to elect their candidate of choice."

He says some of the new districts that appear to favor minority representation are actually top-heavy with Anglo precincts known for their high voter turnout.

It is unclear how soon the D.C. panel will act on the state's clearance request. Meanwhile, there are additional hurdles - including various lawsuits against the new maps, some of which are scheduled to be heard in a San Antonio court in early September.



get more stories like this via email

In 2021, damages from floods and other severe weather in the United States exceeded $145 billion. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

In the wake of historic summer floods in the Midwest and Appalachia, there are calls for a new national plan to reduce risks from disasters. The …


Social Issues

Small businesses that suffered damage or destruction from the recent historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky can get one-on-one assistance as they try t…

Environment

The Inflation Reduction Act, newly passed by the U.S. Senate, allocates $369 Billion to fight climate change, and appropriates funds specifically for …


Social Issues

On August 27, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Padlock Ranch first developed for livestock in 1867, now …

NOAA seeks to make it easier for groups and agencies to work towards restoring habitats. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Virginia has some of the fastest-eroding coastline in the U.S, so an effort at one federal agency is bringing new focus to the region. Inside the …

Environment

Included in the Inflation Reduction Act is a provision aimed at cutting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling, but it remains to be seen …

Social Issues

New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021