Texas

Texas is a growing state with changing demographics that could gain 2 or 3 new congressional seats following the 2020 Census. We helped Democrats flip two seats in the state House and 12 seats in the state House. Texas will remain an NDRC target in 2020 — we are targeting the state Senate and House.

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Redistricting 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.

2011

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.

2012

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.

2013

The Texas Legislature repealed its original maps and enacted the maps based off of the court’s interim plan on a permanent basis, but those plans contained many of the same legal infirmities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.

2017

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.

2018

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.

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 this last election cycle, Texans voted for Democratic State legislators who are committed to fair maps.

Democrats flipped 12 seats in the state House and two seats in the state Senate.

1 Know the Decision Makers

Redistricting is controlled by the state legislature and governor. For the state legislative maps, if the legislature cannot pass a map, a 5-member backup commission will draw the lines. This commission includes the following elected officials:

  • Lieutenant Governor
  • State Speaker of the House
  • Attorney General
  • Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • Commissioner of the General Land Office

2 Know Your State Legislature

Texas Lower Chamber
67

Democratic-held
seats

83

Republican-held
seats

2 Vacant seats

Texas Upper Chamber
12

Democratic-held
seats

19

Republican-held
seats

3 Register to Vote

Register to vote in Texas

You can also confirm that you are already registered to vote.

Court Cases Impacting Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing racial gerrymandering and Voting Rights Act claims against Texas’s congressional and state legislative maps, after the lower courts struck those maps down.

Abbott v. Perez

Read the district court panel decision on the congressional map here.

Abbott v. Perez

Read the district court panel decision on the state map here.

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