The Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow (Wednesday) in a case challenging a portion of the Texas House map passed the last special session.

In November, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus filed suit contending that the map violated the constitutional “county line rule.” The suit claims the Legislature did not follow this requirement when it split Cameron Co. into two districts, combining each portion with territory in other counties.

HD35 includes southwestern Cameron Co. and a swath of northern Hidalgo Co. that wraps around three sides of that county’s other four House districts. HD37 includes most of Cameron Co.’s land area and all of Willacy Co. HD38, which covers most of Brownsville, is entirely within Cameron Co.

South Texas House district map

Art. III, Sec. 26 of the Texas Constitution stipulates “when any one county has more than sufficient population to be entitled to one or more Representatives, such Representative or Representatives shall be apportioned to such county, and for any surplus of population it may be joined in a Representative District with any other contiguous county or counties.” MALC reasons that Cameron Co. should have been apportioned into two districts with the remainder joined with territory in an adjacent county or counties unless required to comply with federal standards. Alternatively, the “surplus” population outside of HD38 could not have been placed into multiple districts – the constitution requires it to be joined in “a” district.

The impact of winning the lawsuit would appear limited to any South Texas districts that would need to be redrawn to remedy the county line rule violations, if the court agrees that the map as drawn is unconstitutional.

LTGOV (Lean R): Mike Collier’s (D) campaign announced the endorsements of several prominent Black Harris Co. political leaders including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Sen. Borris Miles (D-Houston) and Harris Co. Comm. Rodney Ellis (D).

HD23 open (Likely R): Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Terri Leo-Wilson (R) in the runoff over Patrick Gurski. The group did not endorse a candidate for the primary.

HD93 open (Likely R): Tim O’Hare, the Republican nominee for Tarrant county judge, endorsed Nate Schatzline (R) in the runoff over Laura Hill.

CD15 open (Toss Up): Hidalgo Co. Dist. Atty. Ricardo Rodriguez (D) endorsed Michelle Vallejo in the runoff over Ruben Ramirez.

Republican Party: State party chair Matt Rinaldi announced he would seek re-election. He released a list of endorsements from two thirds of the members of the State Republican Executive Committee.

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