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Reflective Writing: Texas Legislative Branch, Redistricting, Campaigns and Elections under Federalism

Requirements and Completion Instructions

When completing your essay, you must provide in-text citations for any work that is directly quoted or paraphrased.  When writing your essay, respond to the prompt thoroughly, and completely.

Your response should be your own thoughts and analysis. Citations may be formatted in APA, MLA or Chicago style, as long as they are consistent throughout. Research and resources should be incorporated with scholarly application. I.e. used as examples or evidence to support your analysis. Make sure to use complete sentences, and proper grammar. Your response to the prompt should focus on analyzing the information you gather and use to complete the constitutional chart through application. Incorporate the information you gathered by using it to provide examples and support for your response to the prompt.

Your analysis and essay must be at least 2 pages, in length. This does not include the bibliography. The bibliography should be incorporated, on a separate page, unless you are using Footnotes. You will upload your essay, and bibliography together, as a single file, to the designated link, in Eagle Online. File submissions accepted include .pdf, .doc, .dpcx files.  Any other files, submitted, such as pages etc. will not be reviewed, and will automatically receive a grade of a zero, without re-submission.

My expectations of a complete assignment are that information is organized clearly and in detail with specific examples.  Quality is preferred to quantity.

Prompt:

Copy and paste the link below, to access and stream the movie The Big Buy: How Tom Delay Stole Congress, free online. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6rzv (Links to an external site.)

ADDITIONAL LINK IF NEEDED https://vimeo.com/235850615 (Links to an external site.)

Choose from one of the prompts below, to respond to

  1. Thinking about federalism and the how power is distributed between multiple levels of government, including the federal and state level, identify current federal and Texas laws that regulate elections, such as those that provide for determining electoral processes, eligibility to participate in an election, selection methods, winning requirements, candidate qualifications, determining when and where election is held. Discuss inconsistencies and provide some possible examples to explain the potential effects these could have on electoral outcomes, of who is deemed winner, and ultimately achieving democratic representation of the appropriate people (constituents) who will be electorally linked and impacted by the winner of a political office.
  2. In your own opinion, is re-redistricting, before the decennial census, a crime, based on statutory and constitutional law? Or, given the nature and number of state level elections, across a wide geography made up of an extremely demographically heterogenous population, make it democratically necessary that re-mapping between census’s be a reserved power of the states, in order to maximize representative democracy. How could the remapping of Texas be applied to example and explain the state’s Don’t Mess With Texas, age old attitude, and individualistic political culture.
  3. How could you defend an argument that re-redistricting was not illegal, and how could you defend the argument that re-redistricting violated the Voting Rights Act. Despite, the Texas remapping controversy, should the federal judicial system be involved, in what Justice Felix Frankfurter called the “political thicket” of partisan redistricting?  Especially, since the power to redistrict is a power reserved to for the state, and its people. If political gerrymandering is a problem, should its resolve be left to the voters, state by state, and jurisdiction by jurisdiction, or to the federal government (i.e. oversight, regulation, intervention, law…what do you think).

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