Gerrymandering Texas (Paperback)
What if gerrymandering were not just a hot button contemporary political issue but actually a deep story of how Texas came to be? Gerrymandering Texas uses relevant legislation and court cases to tell the political history of the state of Texas. Writing out of decades of experience as an assistant attorney general, senate parliamentarian, expert consultant on redistricting, and law professor, Steve Bickerstaff traces the story of this political practice from 1836 up to the present and prognosticates what lies ahead for the 2020 census and 2021 redistricting. Since redistricting is the story of boundaries, borders, and representation, Bickerstaff's book also tells the story of Texas's evolution over time. The various Texas constitutions are unpacked, and the changing racial makeup of the state comes into sharp relief. Democrat dominance in state governance gives way to the recent Republican dominance. Bickerstaff's analysis of redistricting, always clear-headed and even-handed, gives new insight into the history of the Lone Star State. Gerrymandering Texas intersperses history and legal analysis with first-person stories of the author's own many experiences with redistricting, from trying cases, to serving as expert witness, to consulting during the latest Texas constitutional convention. Many of these stories represent the first time Bickerstaff has made public his private opinions about important moments in recent Texas political history--moments in which Bickerstaff was himself a key supporting player.