Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Rick Perry Signs Texas Congressional Map Into Law

Perry signed the interim map into law on Wednesday. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed the Lone Star State’s new congressional map into law, ending the state’s long and twisted redistricting saga of the 2012 cycle.

A Perry aide confirmed to CQ Roll Call that the GOP governor inked the House district boundaries, passed by the legislature in a special session, on Wednesday afternoon.

The governor’s approval comes one day after the Supreme Court gutted a provision in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that forced Texas to seek federal approval for any changes to its voting laws — including its congressional maps. The state was one of several covered by Section 5 because, according to the original law, it had a history of discrimination in its voting practices.

But the high court ruled Tuesday that the formula used to select these states was outdated, allowing these previously covered states, like Texas, to change their voting laws and maps without federal approval anymore. Within hours of the high court’s decision, Texas officials announced they would implement a new identification requirement for voters — a law that had been previously blocked by federal officials under Section 5.

Earlier last year, Texas Republicans attempted to pass a more aggressive map, but a federal court in Washington, D.C., struck it down also under Section 5. A San Antonio-based federal court ordered lawmakers to use an interim map instead.

Last month, Perry called the state legislature into a special session to deal with the congressional and legislative maps. Republicans, who dominate both chambers in Texas, intended to pass the court-ordered interim map used in the 2012 elections into law. They accomplished that this week, sending the maps to the governor’s desk.

(Read also on Roll Call: Wendy Davis for Congress? Not So Fast)

Texas picked up four new House seats last cycle following the decennial census. Explosive population growth among Hispanics accounted for most of the population growth that led to the increase.

Until the high court’s decision, many House Democrats from Texas were hopeful they could get a redrawn map that would add another majority-minority city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Texas Democrats could still challenge the map in court under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The high court did not touch that provision, which outlaws intentional discrimination in voting laws.

  • ewm

    Good move, Gov!!!

  • Dee

    Bad move Gov. Keep on smiling but your day will come soon, when Texas turn blue right in you face in about two years. Our Hispanic partners will take control of both chambers including the Gov. mansion, ok.

  • GuardianAngle

    This are the bills making the interim maps permanent, not reinstating the original GOP maps.

  • Glenn Marra

    Latinos voted LESS in the 2012 elections so that isn’t going to happen.

  • easton

    Right now minority babies outnumber white ones. It is simply a matter of time as old whites die off and are replaced by young hispanics. You can’t gerrymander the dead back to life. I give Republicans in Texas another 10 to 15 years tops before they are consigned to oblivion. And without Texas Republicans have zero shot at the White House.

    What is it like to be living on borrowed time? Aren’t you interested in building a long term future for the party or are Republicans simply nihilists?

  • Kenny

    Time is not on conservatives side. Sooner of later Latinos are going to own Texas.

  • sanderdog

    Note the democrat objective was/is to create ” another majority-minority city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area”. This is how we have created cities like Detroit. Inner city Philly, DC. Chicago, LA on and on. These cities are abject failures when you consider the uncontrolled violence, corruption that comes with creating single party voting regions run by the local democrat regime. The concentration of leftist control is clearly bad for the people in the cities involved. Makes them slaves to the government.

  • sanderdog

    If they own it, what will they do, move it south of the Border or delete the border. I would hope Americans of Latin heritage would be Americans first, second and third.

  • tygr500

    Why is this still a question of race vs race ? America has not grown up yet and will not for some time why the refusal to acknowledge and offer all citizens a fair and balanced election. Bottom line is we have failed our citizenry, because of race we chose to hate always have a disenfranchised people of color while never answering the big question why do we hate them, is it what you were taught from your parents and you just cant get it out of you’re system.

    Some of the comments in this posting makes that clear there is a willful desire to assure that minorities have less are offered less and considered less American than those who are not.( for now) African American’s 400 yrs in this country 200+ yrs of free slave labor building a country and receiving nothing in return but more hate and distrust and Jim Crow laws that want to be reinstated. The American Indian who are the real Americans have been slaughtered by the millions land was taken away and THEY were called them savages? Latino from Mexico were the original owners of the south west but war ended that. Now they come to our nation seeking a better life and are treated a little better than the former slaves.

    The real game that was played was to assure there is strife between the lowest though of minorities Black Americans and Latino Americans that way they will never join forces to become a powerful voting block. (Divide )

    Give them little and hate them for having so little. …well played …and tell them that is the way God wants it. Jesus hates abortions but he also hates welfare babies , only if they are Black or Latino.

  • Glenn Marra

    Latinos don’t vote, especially younger ones. 2012 is a classic example of all the hype that didn’t play out. Latinos accounted for 8.4% of the total votes in 2012. Even in California, whites still vote at a much higher percentage than the total racial make-up of the state and decide statewide elections, not Latinos. Texas, unlike my state of California, at least still can draw companies and individuals nationwide who want to live in a state with less taxes, fewer regulations and more work. Texas will remain a red state as far as the crystal ball can see.

  • Dirk Diggler

    Have you looked at the maps drawn by Texas republicans? Why did they split Austin ( a traditionally Dem region), into 5 separate districts? So they could dilute Austin’s voting power in the Congress, make Hispanic Dems have to battle Anglo Democrats in the primary..(dilute their power), and fragement any progressive voting block in Texas (cities, urban areas where most young, minorities live). If you think Democrats have been pushing this, you have not been following the redistricting news in Texas for the past 20 years.

  • Dirk Diggler

    They cant! Their hate, anger, bitterness at seeing a world change around them causes them to be defensive with guns and religion and continue to disenfranchise minority voters, women, young people. Dinosaurs=Texas GOP. The asteroid is coming. Be thirsty my friend.

  • Lorr

    “Texas, unlike my state of California, at least still can draw companies and individuals nationwide who want to live in a state with less taxes, fewer regulations and more work”

    Texas has the highest amount of uninsured
    Texas ranks 6th in terms of people living in poverty. Some 18.4% of Texans were impoverished. Article written in August 2011 Texas ranked dead last in Job Creation
    . Not doing well in High School Graduate number either. Oh and their few regulations allowed a manure plant to exist in a residential community and next to an elementary school. Did I mention that Manure plant blew up destroying people’s property, taking lives, destroying the school – basically the town.
    If you like Texas more than California why don’t you move there and you can strap on a gun and enjoy your life.

  • Don Gadberry
  • Glenn Marra

    Think Progress is a liberal organization known for its lies. Why even post something so old and idiotic?

    California has a poverty rate of 23.5%. The HIGHEST in the country.

    Gee, I remember some kind of explosion caused by PG&E in California that burned many homes. Your point is what?

    Poverty is higher along the Rio Grande…where unemployment is high…it’s also nearly 100% Latino and full of uneducated people (Los Angeles graduates just 66% of it’s high schooers…and just over 55% of Latinos…so your point is what, Latinos are dumb?).

    Everyone should have a gun. Just like the criminals. Then we’d all be in a Mexican standoff…and no crime.

    Too bad you have no facts to present. You’re just one more wasted post in this thread from people who know nothing.

  • Lorr

    Yes and Faux News is a Conservative Public Relations firm.

    I do have the facts but you can look it up yourself. If you do not know the point of putting a manure plant in the middle of a residential community than you have more serious problems than where you reside.

    We were talking about Texas and I do not presume that anyone is dumb, unlike yourself. My husband has a gun and a concealed weapon permit and he agrees with me that assault style weapons should be banned along with large capacity magazines and clips. If you believe that there would be no crime if everyone had a gun than you are living in the wrong century – you want to live out a fantasy of the OK Corral.

    If you hate California so much and love Texas than move there. Why is it that because someone has a different opinion than you than you resort to name calling and attempts to insult. I personally consider the source and am not offended and I know I am right when the poster resorts to name calling and not respecting someone else’s point of view.

  • radsenior

    Some points of interest to be considered when re-districting is the only issue to be addressed is 39.5% of Texas’ population is Hispanic/Latino. The black percentage is 11.5% and the white population is 44.3%. Reviewing the mix in specific portions of the state show Brownsville-Harlingen is 87.45 to 11.3% Hispanic/Latino to White population. Corpus Christi is 59.5% to 34%, Greater El Paso is 84.7% to 10.4% Hispanic/Latino to White population. Greater Laredo’s ratio is 95.2% to 3.6% and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission is 91.7% to 6.9% Hispanic/Latino to White population. San Antonio ratio is 54.3% to 35.5% and Victoria is 47.9% to 44.7% Hispanic/Latino to White population. Those efforts collided head-on with the hard demographic reality that more than 90 percent of the state’s population growth over the prior decade came from Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans has impacted the ethnic demographics of Texas. Yet the Texas Legislature wants to keep the same old lines in place to hold onto control of the Legislature and Governor. The litigious battles of the past will continue until the federal courts make it permanent. As it stands now they are in trouble and they know it! Given the GOP’s recent exploration to appropriate electoral votes in accordance w/the proportion of gerrymandered congressional districts w/in some ‘blue states’, Sect 5 of the VRA probably needs to be expanded to states that historically haven’t experienced poignant voter suppression. Additionally, review voter id laws implemented across the country during the past two years to discourage & reduce voter participation. Rick Perry is adamant to fix the state to his liking at all costs. Greg Abbott will try to do his best to keep Texas as it is. The areas outlined above show there is a disparancy in population representation in proportion to its ethnic make-up. People of color must be made aware of the changes and effects of changes if implemented!

  • kramartini

    Smart move by Perry. Whatever the outcome of the suit in San Antonio, using the maps already approved by the court will insulate Texas against charges of deliberate discrimination, thus protecting the state against being dragged back into pre-clearance under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act.

  • kramartini

    Turnabout is fair play–the Texas Dems were masters of gerrymandering and were sticking it to the Republicans until about 10 years ago…

    Neither side is right, but the Republicans are not uniquely bad in this respect…

  • kramartini

    How is this a bad move? These maps were already blessed by a Federal court in San Antonio–it will be hard for that court to object to them now.

    And even harder to charge that these maps are motivated by racism, given that they were drawn by a Federal court under guidelines set by the US Supreme Court. This is a VERY smart move by Perry…

  • kramartini

    Or Latinos will, like Ted Cruz and Henry Bonilla, become Republicans…

  • kramartini

    People who move to Texas from elsewhere–especially California and the Northeast–love it and wonder why they ever lived anywhere else…

  • kramartini

    Gotta know when hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away…(and in this case) KNOW WHEN TO RUN!
    Perry is getting a great deal here that is basically immune to Federal challenge–the San Antonio Federal court is not going to penalize Texas for codifying its handiwork…
    He is smart to take his chips and get the hell out of Dodge…

  • Lorr

    Than they made the right choice for them.

  • BBWeekly

    This is actually a bit of a retreat for Republicans, they basically signed into law their “second choice” maps when they probably could have gone back and changed them to get closer to the original first choice.

  • cynthia curran

    Well, slowly but surely, Perry just wants them to do the restaurant and construction jobs and not vote. Smart sense for a cheap labor conservative like Perry.

  • cynthia curran

    This is true, that the Rio Grande is the poorest region in the US which a lot of conservatives ignore. Also the 23 percent rate for California was a liberal measure to take into consideration food stamp usage and cost of living. So, its probably exaggerated more like 18 percent but Texas is still around 16 percent and has poverty rates of 16 to 18 percent since 1980 when it was even less Hispanic.

  • cynthia curran

    Well, there are other places like Utah, Colorado. Arizona and so forth. Texas too me is like California it has too many minorities.

  • cynthia curran

    Believe me the minority population eventually catches up. So, Texas having alot of minorities will work against the Republicans in the long run. San Diego Ca use to be mainly Republican but the growing Hispanic and Asian populations changed that. Texas should enforce e-verify which would get rid of illegal immigrants but it doesn’t that much that why Arizona is more success in this.

  • Derrick Patterson

    Don’t forget to add low pay to your list. Companies love no regulations, low pay and low taxes because they can make record profits and keep it for themselves, the sharholders, lobbyists and the government officials they bribe. Did you see the factory that blew up in West, Texas? Yea, that boom you heard was the sound of the free market at work. No regulations causes injury, death, destruction and corruption. If you hate progressive, liberal, regulated, higher taxed, higher waged California, then move to Texas, read your Bible, cling to your gun and enjoy your low salary that you’re earning from your non-regulated company that is falling apart and robbing you blind. Hispanics don’t vote because states keep them from doing so thanks to the voting laws they pass. Plus, most are not legal to vote because they’re not citizens. Government forbids them from becoming citizens because if they did states like Texas and Arizona would be blue in a minute and the Republicans would never win another election.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...