A three-judge panel in San Antonio this week will begin the process of deciding how to move forward with redistricting in Texas, raising questions of how that may impact the 2018 midterm elections.
The same judges in March ruled Texas lawmakers knowingly discriminated against Latinos and blacks when drawing certain congressional districts, then issued a similar ruling last week with regards to districts around the state's urban centers.
“Its just sad to see this dragging out forever the way it is,” says Harris County GOP Chairman Paul Simpson. “We don't know how this is going to turn out, but I'm sure hopeful our 2018 elections can go forward without disruption by the courts.”
“Democrats were happy to draw districts to their advantage when they controlled the Legislature for well over a century,” he says. “The last decade, Texas citizens ended the Democratic rule and elected a Republican majority Legislature that for the first time could do a full redistricting after the 2010 census, so ever since then the liberals have been desperate to control the will of the people.”
Simpson says if Texas' election map get tossed back to the state Legislature, Republicans still hold a majority.
“If the court wants them redrawn then they'll be redrawn, but I think in many ways the lines the courts drew helped the Democrats, so if they want to have them redrawn by the Legislature, we would welcome that in Harris County.”
Texas has been operating under temporary court-ordered maps drawn in 2013. The deadline for candidates to file in the 2018 midterm elections is in December.