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September 20, 2003

Staples map heading to the floor

By Jim Dallas

The Senate jurisprudence committee approved a map Friday, setting up a floor vote for early next week (OfftheKuff | Dallas Morning News). The vote was 4 - 3 with all the Republicans (including Kip Averitt, whose concerns over the 11th District put other members of his party on notice) voting for it.

This modified Staples map seems to have a good chance of passing in the Senate, but while final passage may seem to be a fait accompli, there are still major issues to hash out.

Most importantly, the House and Senate maps are radically different in their treatments of the 9th, 11th, and 17th districts (to name a few of the discrepancies!). Under the Senate map, for example, the 9th District, which is currently represented by Nick Lampson (D-Beaumont) would be split apart roughly in half; under the House map it would contain most of its current core with the exception of my home town of Galveston, which would be appended to Tom DeLay's 22nd District.

(And, as a Galvestonian and a Democrat, I do hereby declare my intention to run for Congress from the 22nd Congressional District should this House version be passed. As soon as I'm legal, of coruse, which won't be until in 2008).

There are still a number of deadlines to clear as well, most importantly those related to DOJ preclearance. We are also getting to the point where it is forseeably possible that adoption of the redistricting plan could run into trouble with the Texas state Constitution (Article III, Section 39). If final passage, somehow, were delayed into a fourth or fifth session falling in late December or early January, it would make it virtually impossible to have a congressional primary in March. Unless of course, the bill somehow passes by a vote of greater than two-thirds. (Eyes Sens. Armbrister and Whitmire).

Not to mention the fact that - Senator Staples's proclamations that the map is virtually impenetrable notwithstanding - the court battle which will inevitably arise over any map that gets passed will probably make HB3 the functional equivalent of a full-employment act for lawyers.

Posted by Jim Dallas at September 20, 2003 05:12 AM | TrackBack

Comments

Very interesting! Thank you for the info, Jim, and the astute observations. Hope you're an early riser, rather than having been up all night!

Posted by: Beldar at September 20, 2003 06:44 AM

Don't sell the bear's skin before you've caught it. (c)

Posted by: Sarah at June 13, 2004 05:48 PM
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