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Briefly explain the difference in tactics between Democrats in the Texas House and Democrats in the Texas Senate in 2003, to stop the gerrymandered redistrict bill from being passed.  Explain what each groups actions were intended to stop...

Nov 27th, 2014

The 2003 Texas redistricting refers to a controversial mid-decade congressional redistricting plan. In the 2004 elections, it resulted in the Republicans taking a majority of the House seats for the first time since Reconstruction, by a 21 to 11 margin, or a 2 to 1 ratio. This was disproportional to the voting breakdown in the state in the presidential election, in which there was a 61/38 voting ratio of Republicans to Democrats. Opponents challenged the plan in three suits, combined when the case went to the United States Supreme Court in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.

On June 28, 2006, the Supreme Court upheld the statewide redistricting as constitutional, with the exception of Texas' 23rd congressional district, which it held was racially gerrymandered in violation of Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, apparently to try to protect a Hispanic Republican representative. This district had to be redrawn in a plan with oversight by the court. When completed, a special election was held for the representative of the new district; the Democrat Ciro Rodriguez won the seat.


After Republicans won control of the Texas state legislature in 2002 for the first time in 130 years, they intended to work toward establishing a majority of House of Representatives seats from Texas held by their party. After the 2002 election, Democrats had a 17–15 edge in House seats representing Texas, although the state's voters voted for Republicans in congressional races by a 55-45 margin.[1] After a protracted partisan struggle, the legislature enacted a new congressional districting map, Plan 1374C, introduced in the Texas House by Representative Phil King of Weatherford. In the 2004 congressional elections, Republicans won 21 seats to the Democrats' 11.

On June 28, 2006, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion that threw out one of the districts in the plan as a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and ordered the lower court to produce a remedial plan, which it did in Plan 1440C. The Supreme Court ruling was not seen as seriously threatening Republican gains from the 2004 elections.


Nov 27th, 2014

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