Judges Release Texas Redistricting Maps
The three-judge panel in San Antonio tasked with drawing up the new Texas Congressional, Senate and House Districts has released maps just a few months before the Texas primaries scheduled for May. The first set of redrawn maps by the San Antonio judges were thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court in late January.
All of the maps closely mirror those drawn up last year during the Legislative session. The house maps are extremely similar, with Tarrant County being split into five parts with an extra representative district added in the southernmost area of the county. In West Texas, Representative of District 85 Jim Landtroop will now run in District 88. District 85 will move down to the Victoria area. If no appeals are filed, Representative of District 83 Charles Perry will remain as originally drawn last legislative session. Coalition districts in Bell and Fort Bend counties were denied.
Congressional Districts 35 and 25 were restored to the originally drawn maps from last year, and the CD23 as approved by the House and Senate Leadership. CD33, the new district in Tarrant and Dallas, will give more power to democratic voters. You can see those maps here. Senate maps are essentially exactly as originally drawn in 2011.
On the new maps Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said “The new interim maps issued late today are a substantial improvement from maps previously issued by the San Antonio court. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous, clear direction to the district court, these new interim maps more accurately reflect the decisions of elected Texas legislators.” Abbott back in November filed an emergency stay on federally drawn maps that he said were "legally flawed."
The controversy over maps arose last year as minority groups accused the Texas Legislature of drawing discriminating district maps. If the nine groups contesting Texas's districts file appeals to the maps, it would open the door for primary elections on May 29th.
Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the release of redistricting maps that will be used in the upcoming primaries:
“While we believe the original maps drawn by the Texas Legislature were fair and legal, I am pleased we finally have maps that enable us to proceed with our elections.
Governor Rick Perry released a statement late Tuesday regarding the release of the new maps. “As the Supreme Court has agreed, the federal court in San Antonio overstepped its boundaries when it took it upon itself to draw new maps. Had the federal court done it correctly to begin with, the time, costs and inconvenience to our state could have been avoided, and we would be having our elections on schedule.”