Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Lori MacVittie, Peter Silva, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Carmen Gonzalez

News Feed Item

Voting Rights Lawsuit Filed Against State of Texas: State Senate Districts Unconstitutional

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Project on Fair Representation (POFR) announces the filing of a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Texas' state senate districts. The complaint can be found at www.projectonfairrepresentation.org.  

The plaintiffs in this case are registered voters in Texas Senate Districts #1 and #4 who assert that Plan S172—the Texas Senate redistricting plan enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on June 26, 2013— is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The plaintiffs seek an order enjoining Texas from conducting further state Senate elections under Plan S172 and ask the court to require the Texas Legislature to reapportion state senatorial voting districts in conformity with the Fourteenth Amendment. 

The Defendants are Rick Perry, in his official capacity as Governor of Texas, and Nandita Berry, in her official capacity as Texas Secretary of State.

The lawsuit alleges that Texas's senate districts are grossly malapportioned by various measures of eligible voters, thus violating the principle of "one person, one vote" even though all of the districts are roughly equal in total population. The plaintiffs reside in two of the most malapportioned districts in the state.

The complaint notes that by some measures the gap between eligible voters in the two Senate Districts and those in other districts approaches 50%. The effect of this severe overpopulation of voters in Senate Districts #1 and #4 is that the Plaintiffs' votes carry far less weight than the votes of other citizens in districts that are under-populated with electors.

For example, the votes of electors in Senate District 3, a district over-populated with electors, have only sixty-one percent (61%) of the weight of the votes of electors in Senate District 27, a district under-populated with electors.  The gross disparities created by Plan S172 violate the fundamental requirement of voter equality under the 14th Amendment. 

As the Supreme Court of the United States held in Reynolds v. Sims, the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits "weighting the votes of citizens differently, by any method or means, merely because of where they happen to reside."  By adopting Plan S172, the State of Texas has run afoul of what the Supreme Court in Reynolds refers to as "the basic principle of representative government," specifically, that "the weight of a citizen's vote cannot be made to depend upon where he lives."  Texas has done so despite the fact that equalization of voter populations can be achieved compatibly with equalization of total population in properly apportioned senatorial districts. 

Bert W. Rein, William S. Consovoy and Brendan J. Morrissey of Wiley Rein, LLP in Washington, D.C. are counsel for the Plaintiffs. They successfully represented Shelby Co. Alabama in Shelby Co. Ala v. Holder and Abigail Fisher in Fisher v. Univ. of Texas last term at the U.S. Supreme Court.  Also representing the Plaintiffs is Meredith B. Parenti of Parenti Law PLLC in Houston, Texas.

Edward Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation, said, "One-person, one-vote is the cornerstone of our nation's most enduring election principles. That is why we are asking the court to compel the state to remedy the glaring eligible voter gaps."

Blum added, "Equalizing eligible voters does not have to come at the expense of equalizing for total population. Both can and should be achieved."

POFR is a legal defense foundation based in Alexandria, Virginia that has provided pro bono legal representation to individuals and jurisdictions in a number of important U.S. Supreme Court cases, including in NW Austin MUD v. Holder, Shelby Co. Ala. v. Holder and Abigail Fisher v. Univ. of Texas-Austin.  

Contact: Edward Blum
(703) 505-1922

PDF - http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/ENR/76807-POFR-Texas-Senate-Complaint.pdf

SOURCE The Project on Fair Representation

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add sc...
Business and IT leaders today need better application delivery capabilities to support critical new innovation. But how often do you hear objections to improving application delivery like, “I can harden it against attack, but not on this timeline”; “I can make it better, but it will cost more”; “I can deliver faster, but not with these specs”; or “I can stay strong on cost control, but quality will suffer”? In the new application economy, these tradeoffs are no longer acceptable. Customers will ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
Data-intensive companies that strive to gain insights from data using Big Data analytics tools can gain tremendous competitive advantage by deploying data-centric storage. Organizations generate large volumes of data, the vast majority of which is unstructured. As the volume and velocity of this unstructured data increases, the costs, risks and usability challenges associated with managing the unstructured data (regardless of file type, size or device) increases simultaneously, including end-to-...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, includin...
Red Hat has launched the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice, a new global team of experts that will assist companies with more quickly on-ramping to the cloud. They will do this by providing solutions and services such as validated designs with reference architectures and agile methodology consulting, training, and support. The Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice is born out of the integration of technology and engineering expertise gained through the company’s 2014 acquisitions of leading Ceph s...
The excitement around the possibilities enabled by Big Data is being tempered by the daunting task of feeding the analytics engines with high quality data on a continuous basis. As the once distinct fields of data integration and data management increasingly converge, cloud-based data solutions providers have emerged that can buffer your organization from the complexities of this continuous data cleansing and management so that you’re free to focus on the end goal: actionable insight.
When it comes to the Internet of Things, hooking up will get you only so far. If you want customers to commit, you need to go beyond simply connecting products. You need to use the devices themselves to transform how you engage with every customer and how you manage the entire product lifecycle. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, will show how “product relationship management” can help you leverage your connected devices and the data th...
In the consumer IoT, everything is new, and the IT world of bits and bytes holds sway. But industrial and commercial realms encompass operational technology (OT) that has been around for 25 or 50 years. This grittier, pre-IP, more hands-on world has much to gain from Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and principles. But adding sensors and wireless connectivity won’t work in environments that demand unwavering reliability and performance. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing data centers to become radically decentralized and atomized within a new paradigm known as “fog computing.” To support IoT applications, such as connected cars and smart grids, data centers' core functions will be decentralized out to the network's edges and endpoints (aka “fogs”). As this trend takes hold, Big Data analytics platforms will focus on high-volume log analysis (aka “logs”) and rely heavily on cognitive-computing algorithms (aka “cogs”) to mak...
With several hundred implementations of IoT-enabled solutions in the past 12 months alone, this session will focus on experience over the art of the possible. Many can only imagine the most advanced telematics platform ever deployed, supporting millions of customers, producing tens of thousands events or GBs per trip, and hundreds of TBs per month. With the ability to support a billion sensor events per second, over 30PB of warm data for analytics, and hundreds of PBs for an data analytics arc...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing...
The free version of KEMP Technologies' LoadMaster™ application load balancer is now available for unlimited use, making it easy for IT developers and open source technology users to benefit from all the features of a full commercial-grade product at no cost. It can be downloaded at FreeLoadBalancer.com. Load balancing, security and traffic optimization are all key enablers for application performance and functionality. Without these, application services will not perform as expected or have the...
The speed of product development has increased massively in the past 10 years. At the same time our formal secure development and SDL methodologies have fallen behind. This forces product developers to choose between rapid release times and security. In his session at DevOps Summit, Michael Murray, Director of Cyber Security Consulting and Assessment at GE Healthcare, examined the problems and presented some solutions for moving security into the DevOps lifecycle to ensure that we get fast AND ...
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understand...