A three-judge federal court in San Antonio ruled that HD90 must be redrawn to address “unconstitutional racial gerrymandering” but not until after the 2018 general election. The district is represented by Rep. Ramon Romero (D-Fort Worth), who is unopposed for re-election this year.
“Legislative apportionment is primarily a matter for legislative consideration and determination, and judicial relief becomes appropriate only when a legislature fails” to address the deficiencies in its districts. The court would proceed with a remedial phase only if “no action is taken to introduce a redistricting bill within the first 45 days of the 2019 regular session.”
It was the only district found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this summer.
The district was tweaked by the Legislature in 2013, based on input from the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, when it adopted a plan largely enacting a 2012 court-drawn map. Prior to its redrawing, the seat was held by longtime former Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth), whom Romero defeated in the 2014 Democratic primary.
Meanwhile, plaintiffs in the long-running battle over the state’s legislative and congressional districts have asked a federal court to place Texas back under federal preclearance supervision. Plaintiffs’ briefs on the matter are due by November 30, and defendants’ responses are due January 15 under a schedule set by the Court.
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