Partisan gerrymandering has traditionally been an accepted part of the redistricting process. To the victors go the spoils, and this has been especially true over the last decade with many of the post-2010 redistricting plans across the country representing some of the most extreme partisan gerrymanders in recent U.S. history. This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a case from Wisconsin and decide if there is a threshold for partisan gerrymandering that, once crossed, makes a redistricting plan unconstitutional. Our analysis of the current Texas delegation to the U.S. House, state Senate and state House of Representatives plans suggests that under a novel test presented by the Wisconsin plaintiffs, and heavily referenced by a federal lower court, Texas’s congressional redistricting plan is likely unconstitutional while the Texas Senate and Texas House redistricting plans are constitutional.
In Gill v. Whitford, Democratic voters in Wisconsin have challenged the state legislative maps drawn by the Republican-controlled state Legislature, claiming they discriminate against Democrats. In a 2-1 decision, a panel of federal judges concluded Wisconsin’s redistricting plan was unconstitutional, due to extreme partisan gerrymandering.
That decision was appealed by the state of Wisconsin (an appeal supported by an amicus brief filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton), and will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in October. The court could decide whether gerrymandering can be so partisan that it moves from the realm of the legal to the illegal.
Full Article: Partisan redistricting in Texas: How much is too much?.