Texas State Senators. Along with the Tejano Democrats and Roland Gutierrez, Sarah Eckhardt have filed a lawsuit against Governor. Greg Abbott and Jose A. Esparaza are the acting secretary of state for Texas. According to the lawsuit, legislative redistricting can't be considered in this year's session because of the Texas Constitution.
Abbott stated that he would call a special session to allow lawmakers to consider redistricting. But the plaintiffs claim this is against the state constitution.
It claims that the lawsuit is challenging existing maps for Texas House and Senate, claiming that they violate the 14th Amendment's "one person, one vote" principle. According to the lawsuit, the maps must be redrawn before the 2022 election cycle. However, they cannot because Texas constitutional law states that the Legislature cannot redraw until the first regular session following the census. This doesn't happen until January 2023.
In a press release, State Senator Gutierrez stated that the Texas Constitution was as clear as possible. "First, the Census must be published. Then, the Legislature must consider apportionment during the regular session after publication." "The Governor unilaterally decided that he could ignore the Texas Constitution at any time, but we are putting our foot down when it comes to how our congressional districts will look in the next ten year."
Article III, Section 28 of the Texas Constitution states that "[t]he Legislature shall, at its first regular session after the publication of each United States decennial census, apportion the state into senatorial and representative districts."
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the results of the latest census and they were published on August 12, 73 days after the end of the 87th legislative session.