Darby to Testify in Federal Redistricting Case
SAN ANGELO, TX – State representative Drew Darby (R) from San Angelo is in San Antonio this week to testify before a three judge panel in Texas’ federal redistricting case.
Darby serves on the House Redistricting Committee. In a recent interview, Darby said the case involves House, Senate and Congressional maps drawn by the Republican controlled legislature following the 2010 census.
According to Darby’s Austin office, he is scheduled to testify on Thursday.
Voting maps are redrawn using new population information gathered every ten years through the census. That information is then used by cities, counties and the legislature to redraw political boundaries based upon shifting population and demographics.
Minority rights groups protested the maps created by the legislature in 2011. They contend that the new boundaries dilute the political power of Hispanic and Black voters in Texas.
The Texas Tribune reported the three judge panel ruled that, “the 2011 Legislature knowingly discriminated in drawing a new map of congressional districts.”
Darby says the court then drew up its own maps before the 2012 elections and it’s the court’s own maps the Legislature adopted in 2013.
Darby and the state argue that the Legislature isn’t responsible for the maps because the court drew them up. The state wants the lawsuit dismissed.
Opponents want the 2013 maps thrown out because they were meant to be temporary. If the current maps are thrown out, the Legislature would have to draw new maps in time for the 2018 election.
At stake is which map will be used for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections and beyond. If the judges change the maps, the change will affect local elections offices and candidates running for office in 2018.
The three judge panel is scheduled to hear testimony all this week. There is no deadline for the court to render a decision. Any ruling by the panel could be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.