| The United States Supreme Court ruled this morning that CD-23 is unconstitutional. The district (map is here) is represented by Congressman Henry Bonilla, runs from Laredo to just outside of El Paso on the border, with a northern boundary running along Interstate 10. The court also ruled that the map did not constitute partisan gerrymandering, but also was divided as to whether or not such an issue could/should be reviewed in the future.
To read the Supreme Court's ruling, click here. For a review about the redistricting process and what happened to CD 23, go here.
**Update - 10:30am**
The Statesman has reported about a possible domino effect:
Redrawing that districts will force nearby District 25, the Austin-to-Mexico district held by Democrat Lloyd Doggett of Austin, to be redrawn, according to the court opinion.
The Statesman reporting is backed up by this part of the Court ruling:
Their equal protection claim as to the drawing of District 25 need not be confronted because that district will have to be redrawn to remedy the District 23 violation. - Page 5-6 of the Court ruling.
These changes could have effects on CD-21 (Congressman Lamar Smith's district, where John Courage is running) in addition to CD-25, Congressman Doggett's district.
***Update -- 11:30am***
The three-judge panel will have the responsibility of deciding what to do with the redistricting map. The first decision is when they redraw the map for -- this election cycle, or the next. The second decision, then, is whether they will redraw the map themselves, and accept three maps from both Democrats and Republicans, OR whether they kick it back to the Texas Legislature for them to redraw the lines during the 80th Regular Session starting in January.
Exactly how far the dominoes fall, we'll have to wait and see. I'd imagine that CD 23, 28, 21, and 25 will have to be redrawn. As we wait to get more analysis, you can play around with an an interactive Congressional map of Texas. Click on the "U.S. Congressional Districts" link to get to the map.
***Update -- 12:30pm***
From a press release from Rep. Richard Raymond, who represents Webb County, at the center of CD-23 and the district that must be re-drawn:
"The United States Supreme Court ruled that the mid-decade Texas Republican plan to redistrict congressional boundaries "rode roughshod" over the rights of Hispanics in South Texas, and it must be remedied...
From the very beginning, common sense told us that Laredo is one community of interest, and the only reason it was split up was to give the Republicans an unfair advantage so that they could elect another Republican to Congress from Texas -- at the expense of Hispanics, Laredo and South Texas...
The win was forged by an alliance of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the American GI Forum and the Washington, D,C. - based Lone Star Project, headed by Matt Angle, a native of Euless, Texas.
"Matt and his group did an exceptional job of coordinating information, the attorneys and the presentations. This shows the kind of victory that can be achieved when people work together."
To read the full release click here for the journal entry. I'd like to be the first to say, welcome, Rep. Raymond, to the BOR community!