The high court today turned away the lawsuit that complained the new congressional and legislative maps are unconstitutional because they assign voters to districts based on their political views and voting histories. A federal court threw out the group’s lawsuit last year.
A bitter feud between GOP factions in the Legislature, anticipating primary elections this summer that will determine which camp controls the Senate next year, prevented passage of any redistricting proposals. As the committee’s chairman, Owens was a key figure in the debate, drafting and defending proposals for new Senate districts that the conservative Republican faction strongly criticized. Owens and the other individuals seeking to intervene argue that neither Kobach nor Essex can adequately represent their interests. But Kobach said in his court filing Monday that the interests of Owens, two prominent Overland Park business leaders, two other Overland Park residents, a former Olathe school superintendent and a Manhattan resident aren’t different enough from Essex’s interests to warrant their intervention.
In part, that’s because 11 incumbent Democrats — seven representatives and four senators — are voluntarily not seeking re-election. At least four more incumbent Democrats — three representatives and one senator — are certain to be ousted later because of Republican-controlled redistricting leaves incumbents running against one another in the same district. In part, the GOP advantage also rests with money. Financial disclosures filed earlier this year showed Republicans holding an advantage of more than $3 to $1 in cash on hand for spending on legislative races — about $3.2 million for Republicans versus $770,000 for Democrats.
The district was created in March by a panel of federal judges who carried out the state’s once-a-decade redrawing of its congressional map. The final result magnified gains in the population and voting power of newer immigrant groups such as Asians, especially in the Sixth District, which is at the forefront of a trend transforming the city’s politics. “The true coming of age of a lot of these communities is having a large second generation that’s born here and that are citizens,” said Nancy Foner, a Hunter College sociology professor who studies immigration. “That’s happened to a large number of these groups.” But older ethnic, well-organized immigrant groups still make up a large proportion of voters in the Sixth. And within broad categories like Asians, there is division, as Chinese, Koreans and Indians sometimes have competing local interests.
National Democrats view Rivera, who is Cuban-American, as vulnerable, his campaign fundraising hobbled by the investigations against him. Roses’ statement included a quote from Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Arceneaux calling Rivera “corrupt.” But the rookie Roses will likely face a tough race against the incumbent Rivera, a once-formidable fundraiser who has been quietly campaigning in the new Congressional District 26. Following once-a-decade redistricting, the district now stretches from Southwest Miami-Dade to Key West.
A Herald/Times analysis of the new congressional map submitted Monday in Leon County Circuit Court shows that the proposed districts would create 13 Republican-leaning districts, 11 Democrat-leaning districts and 3 swing districts. That compares to the map created by the Legislature that creates 16 GOP-leaning districts and 9 Democrat-leading districts with only two swing districts.
According to the Republican Party of Texas’s analysis: The new State House map creates one less Republican district (defined as a district being over 50% Republican) than the map drawn by the Legislature - it is an improvement over the previous map issued by the San Antonio three-judge panel, which drew three less Republican districts. [The new map] translates into the Republican Party expecting to gain 2 of the 4 new Congressional seats. Under the original Congressional map issued by the Legislature, the Republican Party hoped to gain 3 seats. However, we may not have gained any seats under the previous map drawn by the San Antonio three-judge panel. And from the Democratic Party of Texas’s statement: We appreciate the court’s efforts, but their maps are far from accurate representation. These maps may be slightly better than those passed by a radical legislature but they still grossly misrepresent the demographics of our state.
The GOP congressman plans to open a district office in a Southeast 56th Street office building uphill from East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. The relocation reflects a monumental change in the district Reichert represents. The redrawn 8th Congressional District stretches from Auburn in South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County. The former district encompassed only communities in King and Pierce counties. (The reshaped district goes into effect for the House of Representatives election in November.)
The interim congressional map shows that Travis County will have five congressional districts up from the current three. One of them, District 35, will be anchored in Bexar County. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, is expected to run in District 35. Doggett has said in the past that he would abandon his current Congressional District 25 if it ended up looking like the Republican district that was envisioned by the GOP-controlled Legislature last session.
Because of a redistricting process that packed Republicans into this suburban House seat, the winner is almost sure to be safe until 2020. That could allow Quayle or Schweikert to become a major player in the House.
This map shows the Congressional Districts ordered by the Minnesota Supreme Court Special Redistricting Panel in the matter of Hippert v. Ritchie, case #A11-152, on February 21, 2012. Base data and features used in this plan are derived from the 2010 TIGER files prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau.