Lines in the Sand – Bickerstaff

Lines in the Sand – Bickerstaff - Lines in...

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Lines in the Sand – Bickerstaff 2003 First time any state had redistricted in the middle of the decade o Not forced to redistrict o Normally redistrict immediately following each census o Redistricting important for all elected officials, all elected by districts. Judicial, U.S. Congress, state offices, state legislature o Legislature usually can’t reach agreement 1950s – If legislature couldn’t agree on new district boundaries and gained an additional congressional seat: o That seat would be would be filled as an “at large” seat and entire state would vote to fill that seat. If redistricting doesn’t occur, due to legislature being unable to reach agreement on redrawing district lines, then redistricting becomes responsibility of a three member judicial panel. o Federal judicial members are appointed by the President. Since 1999 : o There have been no Democratic elected officials in state of Texas offices. 2001- After the 2000 census, Democrats in state legislature, likely not interested in redistricting, since they had everything to lose. o Therefore, went to the federal judicial panel of 3 judges Two were appointed by Democratic President and one was appointed by Republican President. Result: They left district lines pretty much the same After the 2000 census, Texas gained two additional congressional seats. Republicans were elected to these new seats. For all other districts, state offices and state legislators, redistricting is done by a Legislative Redistricting Board (LRB). 2002 Congressional elections – the Federal Court Panel (3 members, judges) had created congressional districts. Some Republicans, as well as Tom DeLay (House Majority Leader) saw no prohibition to redistricting again. o Responsibility of state legislature and state legislature hadn’t fulfilled its duty to redistrict in ’01. o Instead, had been left to the federal panel. Following the 2002 congressional elections: o State congressional delegation composed of 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans. Not reflective of how Texas voters were voting – Republican. Republicans viewed as reason for redistricting lines to be redrawn during state legislative session in 2003. Republicans had watched decade after decade as Democrats drew district lines adverse to Republicans. The only congressional seats won by Republicans in Texas during that time frame were in Republican landslide districts. o Since 1999, all state-wide elected offices had gone to Republicans. What was Tom DeLay trying to do in 2003, legalized theft or payback? Bipartisanship usually touted by those on the losing side as being important, but once that side gains control, no longer interested in bipartisanship.
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In 2003, all of the newspapers in the state denounced redistricting.
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  • Fall '08
  • United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, state Senate, redistricting, State Congressional Delegation

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Lines in the Sand – Bickerstaff - Lines in...

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