gerrymandering

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New Jersey is a decisively Democratic state, but last year Democratic lawmakers there decided to try to cement their power even further.

Hillary Clinton won by 14 percentage points in 2016. Barack Obama won by 17 percentage points before that, and a Republican hasn't won a Senate race there since 1972.

Even so, the state Legislature introduced a plan that would overhaul the map-making process in a way that would guarantee Republicans became a "permanent minority."

Voting groups say a list of locations Texas lawmakers proposed for public hearings ahead of the next round of political redistricting will give smaller cities an outsized role in the process.

Recently leaked documents could impact an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging Texas' redistricting efforts.

Texas begins redistricting in two years. The process will slice up Texas into political districts. When the districts are redrawn to benefit a particular party, it's called gerrymandering.  Some say it's time to finally end this particular political game.

Texas Democrats are campaigning on the issue of how lawmakers draw political maps ahead of the 2018 elections. They say partisan gerrymandering is solely a state issue right now, because the U.S. Supreme Court didn't rule this term on whether the practice is legal.    

Civil rights attorneys say the Supreme Court's decision Monday in a Texas redistricting case showed how difficult it is to prove discrimination in voting laws.

The Supreme Court mostly sided with Republican lawmakers in the case, which challenged state House and congressional maps. Plaintiffs had argued lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minorities when they drew up the maps.

The U.S. Supreme Court partially upheld Texas’ political maps in a 5-4 ruling today.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in a consolidated case challenging Texas' House maps and congressional districts. Both sets of maps were struck down by federal courts last year after judges ruled they intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters.

National Atlas / Wikimedia Commons

A Texas voting case currently before the Supreme Court could change the shape of districts in the Lone Star State and affect the power balance in the State Legislature.

As The Houston Chronicle reports, the case concerns gerrymandering, which is the practice of redrawing voting districts to favor one political party. Democrats have charged that, following the 2010 census, Texas Republicans redrew the maps to favor their own real elections and give themselves a larger majority in the statehouse.

From Texas Standard:

2018 could shape up to be a big year in the fight over partisan and racial gerrymandering. Cases involving redistricting are on the docket in the Supreme Court as well as other federal courts. And if you've ever looked at a map of Texas congressional districts, you know these court decisions will have implications in the Lone Star State.

Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

The United States Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Texas Democrats to re-examine whether congressional districts in the Lone Star State were redrawn along partisan lines.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, the High Court said it lacked jurisdiction in the case. However, the Supreme Court is still slated to hear similar cases from Wisconsin and Maryland, and those cases may ultimately affect the way Texas (and every other state) is allowed to redraw political lines.

Steven Nass / Wikimedia Commons

An Oklahoma group is mounting a ballot effort to prevent the state’s legislature from redrawing congressional boundaries for their own benefit, a process known as gerrymandering.

Redistricting work is expected to begin after the 2020 census, but as Oklahoma Watch reports, a group called Represent Oklahoma is trying to put a stop to the effort. Represent Oklahoma has launched a website and set up a $400,000 fundraising goal, in hopes of putting a state question on this year’s state ballot.

Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

The United States Supreme Court has put a temporary hold on a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas’s congressional districts.

As The Texas Tribune reports, on Monday the high court released an order signed by Justice Samuel Alito, indicating that the justices wanted to hear from minority groups suing the State of Texas.

whiteafrican / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge may soon require the State of Texas to send all requests for election law changes through the Federal Government for approval.

As The Huffington Post reports, in the last couple of weeks, federal courts have ruled in three separate cases that Republican lawmakers intentionally redrew Texas congressional districts to discriminate against minorities.

Wikimedia Commons

A landmark redistricting trial got underway this week in Texas, with prosecutors attesting that Republican lawmakers intentionally redrew district maps in 2013 in order to weaken the voting power of minorities in Texas, a move that would have bolstered the political heft of the GOP and led to an unfair balance of power.

Flickr Creative Commons

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on Congressional redistricting that could have future implications for the balance of power in the Lone Star State.

As The Dallas Morning News reports, the case centers on a redistricting effort in Wisconsin that resembles in many ways the attempts by the Texas GOP to redraw district lines to favor their own party, a process known as "gerrymandering."

Austin American-Statesman

A Federal court has once again ruled that the Republican Party in Texas intentionally tried to disenfranchise minority voters when it redrew district lines in 2011.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, the 2-1 ruling attested that the GOP diluted minority votes in an attempt to gain more power in the state.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Voting rights advocates are asking courts to ensure that Texas congressional voting districts will be drawn more fairly before the 2018 midterm elections, reports The Texas Tribune.

Edward A. Ornelas / Austin American-Statesman

A federal court has ruled that Texas Republican Legislators tried to discriminate against voters of color when they redrew district lines in 2011, reports The Austin American-Statesman.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that lawmakers drew a map that intentionally diluted the voting power of Latino and black citizens.

Oklahoma Watch

Five years ago in Oklahoma, the GOP-held legislature redrew district boundaries to more heavily favor the Republican party. Since that time, the Republicans have seen a ten percent increase in the number of seats they control in Oklahoma. The GOP now controls almost 80 percent of statehouse seats.

Rural Blog

A Wisconsin case on legislative redistricting could have wide-ranging effects on rural voters across the U.S.

As The Rural Blog reports, a panel of three judges in Wisconsin has determined that the state’s Republican party acted unconstitutionally when it redrew state legislative districts in 2011.