Senator Carona's Email Update
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September 24, 2012

What's New . . .

Focus . . .

There is news on the redistricting front. You may recall, from news media outlets and my previous Email Updates, that redistricting challenges have been proceeding on two tracks -- preclearance of the plans in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (D.C. Court) and consideration of legal challenges to the plans, which were consolidated for trial in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division (San Antonio Court).

On August 28, the long-awaited decision from the D.C. Court was issued. Unfortunately, the Court denied Texas preclearance of its 2011 legislatively enacted Congressional, Senate, and House of Representatives plans. Attorney General Greg Abbott has already appealed that decision to the United States Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court reverses the decision, the three plans will have passed the first hurdle in the redistricting process - preclearance. If the Supreme Court declines to take up the issue and reverse, it appears that new plans will be required to be drawn.

While the D.C. Court was considering preclearance of the plans, the trial in the San Antonio Court was conducted. The San Antonio Court waited to issue an opinion in the case until the preclearance process was concluded, and presumably will issue its opinion now. Going forward, the San Antonio Court could take one of several approaches, including drawing new plans to address the issues raised by the D.C. Court and any illegalities it may have found during the trial in San Antonio. The San Antonio Court could also decline to draw new plans and leave that task to the Legislature. Of course, any decision by the San Antonio Court will be subject to appeal.

Because decisions regarding the plans passed by the Legislature were delayed, interim plans were adopted by the San Antonio Court to be used in the upcoming November election. Although challenges have been made to the interim plans based on the preclearance decision, Texas' November 6 General Election is proceeding under the interim plans.

The bottom line is this -- there is still uncertainty regarding what our districts will look like after November 6. Moreover, depending on the decisions of the United States Supreme Court and the San Antonio Court, the Legislature may be looking at redistricting again in the upcoming session.

Student Opportunities . . .

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In Closing . . .

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Stay cool and conserve energy when you can.


John Carona
State Senator - District 16

Capitol Office District Offices
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, TX 78711
512-463-3135 (fax)
8080 N. Central Expy.
Suite 1440, LB 44
Dallas, TX 75206
214-378-5739 (fax)
5401 N. Central Expy.
Suite 300
Dallas, TX 75205
214-953-1886 (fax)