TEXAS REDISTRICTING & ELECTION LAW

Updates about ongoing redistricting litigation in the Lone Star State and coverage of election law more generally. This website's goal is to try to make sure the redistricting process and litigation over voting law is as transparent and accessible as possible to the public. Hopefully, it will be of some use to a broad range of interested parties, both lawyers and non-lawyers. Have questions, comments, suggestions, additional content, or a redistricting joke (or two)? Feel free to contact me: Michael Li, michael.li@mlilaw.com, 202.681.0641.
Recent Tweets @

The opinion is here and the final judgment is here.  Analysis to follow below.

ANALYSIS:

* Opinion appears to be a sweeping win for DOJ and groups opposing the state’s redistricting maps.  Unanimous except (1) that Judge Griffith dissents with respect to finding of retrogression in treatment of CD-25 (the current Lloyd Doggett seat) and (2) that Judge Collyer did not join in the portion of the opinion relating to retrogression in the congressional map as a whole.

* Court finds that the State of Texas failed to show an absence of discriminatory purpose in the redrawing of SD-10.  The court, however, rejects the contention that SD-10 is an ability to elect district since Wendy Davis was the only minority-preferred candidate to win the district and “a single victory is not the more exacting evidence needed for a coalition district.”

* On congressional map, court finds retrogression in CD-23, CD-25, and CD-27 in state’s enacted plan.  On CD-25, Judge Collyer and Judge Howell find the existence of an effective tri-ethnic coalition in CD-25: “The record demostrates that no single group in CD-25’s try-ethnic coalition is sufficient numerous to elect its candidate alone, but together the coalition consistently wins general elections in the district.”

* On state house map, court finds retrogression in HD-33 (Nueces), HD-35 (South Texas), HD-117 (Bexar), and HD 149 (Harris).  The panel does not reach the question of discriminatory intent but “note[s] the record evidence causes concern” and “strongly suggests that the retrogressive effect we have found may not have been accidental.”

____

UPDATE:

Errata from panel here.