This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, December 12, 2011

Supreme Court Steps Into Redistricting in Texas

It is common for the maps drawn for congressional redistricting from each new census to wind up in court, but it is less common for a case to make its way to the US Supreme Court. That has happened, however, to the maps drawn for Texas. As I had noted here previously, there had a been a court challenge to the redistricting maps drawn and approved by the predominantly Republication legislature. That led a Federal Appeals Court to redraw the maps. Those maps were subsequently challenged and now, as the New York Times reports, the Supreme Court has decided it will step in.
The Supreme Court’s decision late Friday to hear arguments on the issue on Jan. 9 has turned the boundaries of Congressional and State Legislature districts — the basic blueprints of Texas politics — into a great unknown.
Until the justices determine the legality of the two dueling sets of maps, much of the political machinery for both Democrats and Republicans has been thrown into limbo. The uncertainty, and a dissatisfaction over the shape of political districts, has led some incumbents to not seek re-election, put some campaigns on hold, altered the dynamics in numerous races and left donors baffled about whom to contribute to and when. 
Here we are almost 200 years after the first case of "gerry-mandering" and we're still at it.

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