Why Texas Republicans are proposing a new congressional card

Republicans in the Texas Legislature on Monday proposed a new congressional card that would preserve the party’s advantage in the state’...


Republicans in the Texas Legislature on Monday proposed a new congressional card that would preserve the party’s advantage in the state’s delegation to Washington amid booming population growth spurred by communities of color.

The new card was designed with an eye on tenure and protecting the Republicans’ current advantage; the party now holds 23 of 36 state congressional seats. Rather than trying to make big gains, the party appears to be backing incumbents who have faced increasingly tough competition against an ascendant Democratic Party in Texas.

Indeed, in the proposed map, there is only one state congressional constituency where the 2020 presidential margin would have been less than five percentage points, an indication that the vast majority of 38 ridings in the state will not be particularly competitive.

Texas was the only state in the country to be given two new Congressional Districts during the redistribution of this year, which takes place after the 2020 census. The state’s Hispanic population has grown by two million people over the past 10 years, and is now just 0.4 percentage point behind that of the Anglo population.

But the map proposed by the Republican-controlled state Senate redistribution committee, led by state senator Joan Huffman, would reduce the number of predominantly Hispanic districts in the state from eight to seven, and increase. the number of white majority districts from 22 to 23.

Although the map proposed on Monday was only a first draft and could undergo some changes, civil rights groups have expressed alarm over the lack of new districts with a majority of voters of color.

“With Latinos accounting for nearly half of Texas’ total population growth over the past decade, we would expect lawful redistricting maps to protect existing Latin American majority districts and potentially expand. the number of those districts, ”said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Texas has a long history of obstructing the redistribution parameters set by the Voting Rights Act, having faced a court challenge on every card it has presented since the law was passed in 1965. But in 2013, the Supreme Court emptied a key provision. of the law that required some states to seek Justice Department approval before making changes to voting laws or congressional districts.

This year marks the first time that Texas lawmakers have been free to redraw the state’s congressional map without meeting this requirement.

Across the country, every party is ready to take advantage of its advantage create as many pro-Congress and state-friendly legislative seats as possible in states where its legislators control how the cards are drawn.

On Friday, the National Redistricting Action Fund, a Democratic organization led by former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., sued Ohio over Republicans-drawn state legislative maps that he claimed to have violated a 2015 state constitutional amendment.

In Nebraska this month, Democrats protested a Republicans’ map proposal that divides Douglas County, which includes Omaha, the state’s largest city, into two congressional districts. Democrats ultimately forced a compromise that maintained a district in which President Biden won a majority of the vote. Nebraska lawmakers agreed to pass a congressional map on Friday that preserves Douglas County as one district.

Rapidly growing Oregon is one of the few states where Democrats have the potential to exercise a redistribution advantage. The state adds a sixth congressional district to its delegation, which now has four Democrats and one Republican. But the new map, which is expected to pass on Monday, will most likely create a Democratic district, adding to the advantage of Democrats in the state.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Why Texas Republicans are proposing a new congressional card
Why Texas Republicans are proposing a new congressional card
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