Since time immemorial in the history of Texas, a state in the United States, it is clear that creation of new district boundaries is always after a decade. It is taking effect upon completion of state census, which does occur after every ten years. Texas congressional redistricting process was a unique one not only in Texas alone, but also to the entire United States. It shifted political arena in congress, United States presidential election and above all it triggered redistricting process in the entire country. Redistricting refers to the creation of new district boundaries drowned after every ten years. It is done upon releasing of census results with the aim of creating new congress boundaries. These boundaries are based on population increase; each congress district is entitled to contain not more than 60,000 people. Constitutionally, creation of new districts is upon expiry of ten years. Moreover, this was not the case in the year 2000 due to political reasons. This process brought about extra ordinary institutional and personal challenges, (Steve, 2007).
During the 2000 election, Democrats maintained majority representation in Texas senate, while Republicans emerged to be the winners in congress. Having won in congress, Republicans embarked on drawing congressional district boundaries, which could ensure they had majority delegations in the United States house of Senate. Constitutionally, election is done after every two years in an order of even numbers (Steve 2007).
The republicans intended to control both the congress and senate but this was in vain for the last 13 decades. Nevertheless, they did not give up in their fight bearing in mind that at one point in time their ambition would be fulfilled. Tirelessly, they worked towards achieving their objective of controlling the Texas legislation. This was only possible through having majority in the Congress and House of Representatives. In the year 2001, there was a disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on implementation of new district plan to match with the 2000 census. In Texas, the constitution states that Legislative Redistricting Board convenes only when state legislative is unable to come to common ground on a crucial state issue. Upon disagreement, Republicans who were the minority, resorted to constitutional solution. Based on state law, whenever two parties fail to come to a conclusion on a critical State issue, the matter is presented before a panel of judges to make a ruling and this was the case with redistricting boundary issue.
The matter was presented before a panel of judges who ruled in favor of the Republicans. In their ruling, the judges drew a new district boundary map which maintained almost the same status. For the first time in the 2002 after a period of thirteen decades, the republican won the election by majority representation in the congress. Having won in congress, the republicans had their focus on House of Representatives. After the election of the year 2002, Democrats had a margin of 17-15 in congress seats while the Republicans took the senate and presidential seat. This marked the positive turning point for the Republicans. After a prolonged partisan fight, the legislature enacted a new congressional districting map. Phil king of Weatherford introduced this plan to Texas house.
During the election of the year 2004, Democrats lost in the congressional elections, which the Republicans won. The Republicans had 21 seats while Democrats managed only eleven seats out of 32 seats contested. This made the Republicans to have high delegations in the United States for the first time. In the year 2003, the role-played by Tom Delay, brought an extreme controversy in the congressional redistricting process. Ever since, Texas had never performed even a single redistricting process in the middle of ten years unless there was a court order.
Permissible challenges to the redistricting activity were mounted on a number of fronts. United States high court issued a judgment that did away with one of the districts in the map. An argument presented by the high court was that it had violated the voters’ act. The high court then ordered the lower court to make a remedial plan with immediate effect.
The ruling made by the high court was not seen intimidating to the Republicans since they had won the 2004 election. They termed it to be of low significance because they had gained in the past election. This redistricting process made Democrats losing to their Republican counterparts who emerged the winner.
The 2010 census result was first released in, first April 2011 together with the country’s data. After releasing of census data, the process of redistricting is to take effect immediately. Newly drown congress boundaries are to be used in 2012 general elections. Results will not be effective in Maine, reason being filling of data early and State House having short seasons. Electrical Data Service information of 2010 census data showed that there is population increase, which will affect congress representation in 2012 election. With the majority delegates, Republicans are having high expectations of increasing its delegation and even capturing the presidential seat, come 2012 election.
Brown, et. al. Practicing Texas politics. Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning. 2011. Print
Bullock, Charles. Redistricting: the most political activity in America. Lanham, Maryland:
Rowman & Littlefield. 2010. Print
Steve, Bickerstaff. Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the
Downfall of Tom Delay. New York, NY: University of Texas Press. 2010. Print