Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

May 24, 2011

Barton files suit here with national impact

Corsicana — District Judge James Lagomarsino has small children, so he wasn’t asleep at midnight Saturday when the congressman’s people came to his door wanting to file a lawsuit at precisely 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning.

“We filed it in Navarro County because (Joe Barton) wanted it to be done in our district,” explained Sean Brown, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis. “From what I understand, he filed it when he did at 12:01 Sunday morning because it was clear the state legislature was not going to be able to meet his deadline for getting a map done. So one of the reasons he did that was to protect the constitutional rights of his constituents and all voters in Texas.”

What expired Saturday was the chance to get a bill on the agenda to be acted on in the Texas legislature before the end of the session on Monday. A redistricting committee has been working on the new maps since January, but the disputes weren’t resolved in time. There is an opportunity for a special session, which would extend to the end of June and allow 30 more days for the legislature to finish its work on the budget and redistricting, but that has to be called by the governor, who hasn’t said whether or not he will call one.

Brown said Barton welcomes that.

“The lawsuit doesn’t preclude the governor  from calling a special session and, in fact, Rep. Barton thinks this is an issue that should be solved legislatively,” Brown said. “The lawsuit is a backup plan in case the legislature doesn’t act.”

The lawsuit points out that the current congressional district map is seven years old and doesn’t include the four new congressional seats awarded as a result of the 2010 census, and that to use the old map violates the one-man, one-vote rule asserted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It asks the court to declare the old map a violation of the law, forbid using the old map, impose a new map and pay for the plaintiff’s attorney fees and lawsuit expenses.

However, while the suit asks that the court impose a new congressional district map, a proposed district map was not included in the petition.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has reported that the Barton dispute is over Hispanic representation. In an article by Dave Montgomery, the Star-Telegram reported that fellow Congressman Lamar Smith, a Republican from San Antonio, has submitted a proposed redistricting map with two new Hispanic-dominant districts in North and Central Texas, which would likely go to Democrats.

Barton’s staff prefers that the new districts favor Republicans. Complicating the issue is that Texas falls into a group of Southern states whose redistricting maps have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, a measure put in to prevent racial gerrymandering, which discriminates against minority groups.

Every 10 years, the U.S. government takes a census of the nation and apportions the congressional seats according to where the population has grown. States like Texas that grow in population gain congressional seats. Once the state knows how many seats it will have, then it has to redraw the districts for the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, and the Texas seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

When the Texas legislature redrew the map in 2003 in a controversial triple-special-session marathon to benefit Republicans, it flipped the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives from Democratic to Republican. The machinations behind the redistricting also landed the U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay in prison.

Lagomarsino said he wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit, but he did confirm that it was filed just after midnight Sunday morning.

“I was already up. I’m up all the time with the children,” he said. “They did file a petition. The rules do allow it. I had to look it up myself. It says they can file it with the judge if the clerk is not available.”

As for how Lagomarsino should decide a case with national implications, he didn’t comment.

“It will be decided here like any other lawsuit,” he said.


Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail:


Text Only
Latest News
  • 8-2-14 backpacks of love.jpg Backpacks of Love needs volunteers this week

    What had begun as a few churches collecting random bags of pencils and notebook filler paper has turned into a once-a-year community-wide project to get every kid an even shot at succeeding in school.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 5-2 Tanner Elmer mug.jpg Sheriff's Corner: Compensation remains an issue for NCSO

    We recently submitted the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office 2014-2015 budget proposal for review. Included in this year’s budget is Option 1, a complete salary restructure for the entire sheriff’s department, or Option 2, an 8 percent across the board raise.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23-14 food pantry girl.jpg Local girl raises money for hungry families

    Lacy Rose Goodrich, 9, is a typical Bowie fourth-grader. She likes to watch “Full House,” reruns and “iCarly,” and she has a dog and a cat. She takes gymnastics and dance lessons, and has attended four different Vacation Bible Schools this summer, as well as all the parks and recreation summer programs for kids.
    What’s unusual about Lacy is that she also raised nearly $500 for the food pantry since Easter, which is the equivalent of 3,450 pounds of food for hungry Navarro County residents.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hope Center Celebrating 30 years: Hope Center sends out appeal

    The Hope Center, which began in 1984, will celebrate a huge milestone soon.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jury dismissed for Monday

    The jury called for Aug. 4 at 8:30 a.m. District Court, Judge James Lagomarsino has been dismissed.

    August 1, 2014

  • 8-1-14 city council meet.jpg City to raise water, sewer rates

    Water rates, sewer rates and trash rates will all go up for Corsicana city residents, according to preliminary budget figures presented to the city council Thursday afternoon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • City cancels ambulance contract with county

    The City of Corsicana has notified Navarro County officials it is cancelling its agreement with the county to provide EMS ambulance service to areas outside the city limits. According to a letter sent to county officials by Corsicana Mayor Chuck McClanahan, ambulance service to county residents will end on Jan. 31, 2015.

    July 31, 2014

  • 8-1-14 TxDOT.jpg TxDOT work nears completion

    The project to rebuild Seventh Avenue or Highway 31 as it goes through Corsicana is almost over. From an uneven patchwork of paving and pitted concrete, now it’s a smooth ride from Beaton all the way through town.
    It just took an extra year to finish.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31-14 Fire2.jpg Deputies, fire departments have busy weekend

    An attempt to bootleg electricity off a pole using jumper cables is believed to have caused a building fire that took out a former restaurant in Angus Friday morning, one of a series of calls to Navarro County Sheriff’s Office to the southern end of the county over the weekend.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Rice ISD Alex Stough mug.jpg Rice students win UIL scholarships

    Three Rice High School students received UIL scholarships for competing in academic competitions at the state level, according to advisor Alan Lewis.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Twitter Updates