On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the Rose Institute of State and Local Government held a panel discussion on the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in Shelby County v. Holder. The Institute was fortunate to have two voting rights experts on the panel: Bruce Cain, distinguished political scientist and director… Continue Reading
Tag Archives: supreme court
The Supreme Court decided on January 20th to stay the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the matter of West Virginia’s new congressional districts, meaning that upcoming congressional elections will be conducted in the new districts created by West Virginia’s legislature following the 2010 Census.
On January 20th, the United States Supreme Court ordered a federal court in Texas to reconsider the maps it had drawn for the state’s legislative districts. The Court unanimously held that the lower court may not have used “appropriate standards” in drawing the new maps. Instead, the lower court had “substituted its own concept of the collective public good for the Texas legislature’s determination of which policies serve the interests of the citizens of Texas.” The Court remanded the case to the district court to draw new maps, this time starting from the plan created by the state legislature last year. Please see this earlier coverage by the Rose Report for a more in-depth analysis on the background of the case.
The Supreme Court on Monday held 70 minutes of argument for three cases on the new state legislative and congressional districts Texas will use in 2012 and beyond. The three cases under review are Perry v. Perez (11-713) on redistricting the state house, Perry v. Davis (11-714) on redistricting the state senate, and Perry v. Perez (11-715) on redistricting the U.S. House. At issue is whether the San Antonio federal court had the authority to impose a new legislative district plan on Texas when the state legislature’s plan had not obtained the “preclearance” required under Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The cases focus on Section 5 issues, but have broader implications for the division of power between state legislatures and federal courts in redistricting.
On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court unanimously struck down two Republican challenges to the redistricting plans put forth by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Continue Reading
On May 23, 2011 the California Supreme Court ordered the state to dramatically reduce the number of detainees in prisons on the basis of cruel and unusual punishment. As a result, between 37,000 to 46,000 inmates will be released in the coming years. In order to manage the influx of prisoners, the California legislature passed Bill AB 109, the Public Safety Realignment Bill, which took effect October 1, 2011. AB109 shifts responsibility for non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual offenders to counties. The challenging transition from state to local oversight is highlighted in Contra Costa County, where county officials are already facing difficulties. Continue Reading