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 13th (it will be out in January 2020), 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.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Texas Redistricting Still Up in the Air

Even as the Republican National Convention is being held tonight in Tampa, Florida, the issue of redistricting that may have been aimed at helping the Republicans win in Texas has been thrown a curve ball. BloombergBusinessweek reports that:
Texas’s remade congressional and state assembly districts were rejected by a federal court in Washington, dealing a blow to Governor Rick Perry and the Republican-controlled legislature’s efforts to redraw the state’s political landscape.
The three-judge panel, in a decision today, said Texas failed to show that the maps for state assembly and congressional districts created by the legislature last year “do not have the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group” under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
It turned out that the maps were drawn in such a way that two African American members of Congress (both Democrats) were essentially redrawn out of their former districts. But this did not happen to any white Republicans.

The election will proceed as planned under the interim maps, which were drawn up by a federal court in San Antonio and used for the primary election on May 29, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement.
Abbott also said his office “will immediately take steps to appeal this flawed decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Perry supports the appeal, Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for the governor, said in an e-mail.
Despite the Texas Attorney General's statement about using the interim maps in the general election, it isn't actually clear that those maps will be implemented without some further adjustment. It is clear, however, that this redistricting fight is far from over.

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