POSTED: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 12:07pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 5:13pm
EL PASO - The latest census numbers have several implications for Texas and El Paso.
Texas was the big winner in this year's census figures, picking up four additional seats in the house of representatives.
That's more than any other state, and brings the state's total to 36.
But that's the easy part. Now Texas legislators have the monumental task of re-drawing congressional districts throughout the state.
Make no mistake; it will be a political battle.
Republicans currently control the legislature, and will control the re-districting process. Their aim will be to make new areas favorable to Republicans.
If Democrats were in power, they'd be the same way. But as the minority, Democrats won't be able to do much to stop the G.O.P., except rely on the courts.
"If they attempt to gerrymander some of the districts, if they do that then a federal judge might just find it unconstitutional and therefore reverse the process," says UTEP political science professor Dr. Tony Payan.
Dr. Payan was quick to say, however, that no one can predict how the new districts will be drawn up.
The only thing known for sure he says, is that the process will take a long time, and will ultimately end up in the courts, with judges deciding if new district lines are constitutional.
New Mexico's delegation didn't change, holding steady at three seats.
And as for El Paso's population, the Census Bureau says that info won't be available until at least April.