Does New Congressional District Map Treat Angelina County Fairly?
We now know the new shape of the east Texas Congressional District that includes Angelina County. The legislature has redrawn the Congressional District map, and at first glance, it appears nothing will change for Angelina County.
The Republican-controlled Texas House and Senate have approved a new congressional district map for the state and it's on the Governor's desk waiting for his signature.
The map was redrawn to reflect population changes and increases during the past 10 years as measured by last year's Census. It adds four new seats to reflect population growth, so four new House districts had to be shoe-horned into the map. It was approved along party lines with no debate.
The map has no changes for Angelina County. Angelina will remain in Congressman Louie Gohmert's First Congressional District, a cluster of counties running from Lufkin, San Augustine and Hemphill on the south to Tyler, Gilmer, Longview and Marshall on the north.
In fact, the new map leaves Gohmert's district almost unchanged, except for some small adjustments in the lines on the northern edge.
If Perry, a Republican, signs the map into law, it will go to the Department of Justice for review. The Voting Rights Act requires the review to make sure the map does nothing to diminish minority representation.
Lawmakers redraw these maps every ten years because it's required of them. The majority party is always careful to redraw them in ways that will maintain and even increase their majority. This year is no exception.
Groups opposing the map are expected to file lawsuits in federal court, where alternative maps can be introduced and considered by the judge.
Note to readers: Here is a direct link to the new map. It's interactive to allow viewers to zoom in to see their affected areas more clearly.