How Redistricting Happened in Texas
The following timeline is a high-level overview outlining major redistricting events and activity in the state of Texas over the last 10 years.
Census data delivered to Texas.
Republicans drew and passed a gerrymandered map, setting off years of litigation. Voters filed a series of lawsuits alleging Texas’ congressional and state house plans violated the U.S. Constitution and Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
A federal district court ordered interim “compromise” plans for both the congressional and state legislative maps to be used while the state’s 2011 maps were being challenged.
The Texas Legislature repealed its original maps and enacted the maps based off of the court’s interim plan on a permanent basis, but those plans contained many of the same legal infirmities as the original plan drafted in 2011 and was consequentially the subject of additional lawsuits.
A federal district court struck down portions of the 2011 plans. With respect to the congressional map, the court found that the map contained districts that were unconstitutional gerrymanders and that the legislature had unconstitutionally and intentionally diluted minority voters. Regarding the state house plan, the court found intentional vote dilution in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, violations of the one person, one vote requirement, and racial gerrymandering.
The district court also struck down the 2013 plans. The court ruled that that the congressional map included intentional discrimination and violations of the Constitution and Voting Rights Act. It also ruled that the 2013 state house plan violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act and purposefully held over discriminatory features from the 2011 plan.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order halting the process of redrawing the maps.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the challenged maps in April.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that all but one house district will be allowed to stand. This leaves in place the current congressional maps for the rest of the decade. House District 90 was ruled an impermissible racial gerrymander.
In November, Texans will have the opportunity to vote for Democratic state senators committed to fair maps and ending gerrymandering.