redistricting

Texas Redistricting Case Heads to Supreme Court
Lower court ruling found vote dilution and racial gerrymandering

Shirley Connuck of Falls Church, Virginia, right, holds up a sign representing a district in Texas as protesters demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Oct. 3, 2017, as the court was hearing a case on partisan gerrymandering. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether Texas must redraw its congressional maps because of gerrymanders, in a case that could have major implications for this year’s elections in the Lone Star State.

The justices announced Friday they will review an August ruling from a panel of three federal judges that the current map needs to be changed because it has intentional vote dilution in the 27th District and racial gerrymandering in the 35th District. Those districts are currently held by Republican Blake Farenthold and Democrat Lloyd Doggett, respectively.

North Carolina Asks Court to Halt Congressional Map Change
Partisan gerrymandering at issue

North Carolina lawmakers have asked the Supreme Court to stop a lower court order that ruled the state needed to redraw its congressional districts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina lawmakers asked the Supreme Court to stop a lower court order to redraw its congressional map ahead of the 2018 midterms, arguing that it could “hopelessly disrupt North Carolina’s upcoming congressional elections.”

In an emergency application, the Tar Heel State lawmakers focused on time constraints — as well as “multiple entirely novel theories” the lower court adopted in Tuesday’s ruling — that struck down the state’s 2016 congressional map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

Supreme Court to Hear Maryland Gerrymandering Case
Republican voters are challenging 6th District lines drawn by Democrats

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Maryland’s 6th District lines. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court late Friday agreed to hear a challenge to the lines of a Maryland congressional district that were drawn by Democrats.  

The court has already heard a partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin, where Republicans drew the state legislative map. 

How Governors’ Races Will Shape the Future of Congress
House majority largely depends on who redraws the districts

Tuesday's Virginia gubernatorial race, which includes Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam pictured here, is just one of the many governorships up in the next two years that could have a big effect on Congress next decade. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Virginia governor’s race Tuesday is not the only one that could have an effect on the future makeup of Congress.

Over the next four years, the parties will fight state by state to determine the next decade of congressional power — 36 of those governorships are up next year.

Soap Actress and Trump Surrogate to Challenge Ruiz
Kimberlin Brown spoke at last year’s Republican National Convention

Soap opera actress Kimberlin Brown is the first Republican candidate to announce a run against Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz. (Kimberlin Brown Pelzer for Congress)

Soap opera actress Kimberlin Brown announced she would challenge Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz in California’s 36th District.

Brown spoke at last year’s Republican National Convention and said in her announcement that she would work with both Democrats and President Donald Trump, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Court Appears Divided in High-Stakes Gerrymandering Case
Apparent swing vote Anthony Kennedy offers few clues in arguments

Shirley Connuck, right, of Falls Church, Va., holds up a sign representing a district in Texas, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in a case on partisan gerrymandering. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court appeared deeply divided during oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of partisan gerrymandering across the nation, as one attorney suggested a wrong move by the court could cause the country “to lose faith in democracy, big time.”

Paul Smith, who represents the Wisconsin voters who challenged a Republican-drawn legislative map in the case now before the court, urged the justices to step in and allow federal courts to stop partisan gerrymandering.

Podcast: High Court to Weigh In on Gay Rights, Redistricting and Immigration
The Week Ahead, Episode 72

Members of the US Supreme Court are photographed on Thursday. (Rex Features via AP Images)

CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger drills down on the cases before the Supreme Court this new term and the justices who may tip the scales.

Show Notes:

Republican Group Ready to Spend Big on Redistricting
Operatives to raise $35 million for GOP efforts after 2020 Census

The National Republican Redistricting Trust will channel most of its resources to helping Republicans currently in office use data and the law to mold districts in 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new Republican group launched a campaign Thursday to counter the efforts of an organization chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder to redistrict Congressional boundaries more favorably to Democrats after the 2020 U.S. Census.

The National Republican Redistricting Trust announced it would raise $35 million by the 2021 redistricting to combat Holder’s group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, or NDRC, and assist the GOP in future redistricting cases.

Farenthold to Run for Re-Election Despite Redistricting Issues
A court ruled Tuesday that his district was illegally drawn

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he would run for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold said Wednesday that he would run for re-election in 2018, even though his southern Texas district might need to be redrawn.

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the boundaries for Farenthold’s 27th District and the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The court ruled that the districts were drawn primarily on the basis of race. The Republican-controlled state government signaled it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Court Finds Two House Districts in Texas Were Illegally Drawn
27th and 35th districts were drawn on the basis of race, judges rule

A federal court found that the drawing of Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s 35th district violated federal law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the drawing of two Texas House districts violated federal law and that the state’s congressional map needs to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 midterms.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel found that the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, and the 27th District, represented by Republican Blake Farenthold, were drawn primarily on the basis of race, violating the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.