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The Texas Eleven were a group of Texas Senate Democrats who fled Texas for Albuquerque, New Mexico for 46 days in 2003 aimed at preventing the passage of controversial redistricting legislation that was intended to benefit Texas Republicans. A group of Texas House representatives, dubbed the Killer Ds, had fled the state earlier that same summer for the same reason. However, the quorum-busting tactic was ineffective as the redistricting plan was later passed.
The Texas Senate is the upper house of the Texas State Legislature. There are 31 members of the Senate, representing single-member districts across the U.S. state of Texas, with populations of approximately 806,000 per constituency, based on the 2010 U.S. Census. There are no term limits, and each term is four years long. Elections are held in even-numbered years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In elections in years ending in 2, all seats are up for election. Half of the senators will serve a two-year term, based on a drawing; the other half will fill regular four-year terms. In the case of the latter, they or their successors will be up for two-year terms in the next year that ends in 0. As such, in other elections, about half of the Texas Senate is on the ballot. The Senate meets at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The Republicans currently control the chamber, which is made up of 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.
New Mexico is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital and cultural center is Santa Fe, which was founded in 1610 as capital of Nuevo México, while its largest city is Albuquerque with its accompanying metropolitan area. It is one of the Mountain States and shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona; its other neighboring states are Oklahoma to the northeast, Texas to the east-southeast, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua to the south and Sonora to the southwest. With a population around two million, New Mexico is the 36th state by population. With a total area of 121,592 sq mi (314,920 km2), it is the fifth-largest and sixth-least densely populated of the 50 states. Due to their geographic locations, northern and eastern New Mexico exhibit a colder, alpine climate, while western and southern New Mexico exhibit a warmer, arid climate.
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, then a powerful figure in Texas politics, advocated arresting the Texas Eleven, telling reporters that he supported using FBI agents or U.S. Marshals to arrest the runaway Democrats and bring them back to Austin, asserting that redistricting is a matter of federal concern.
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States.
Thomas Dale DeLay is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1985 until 2006. He was Republican Party (GOP) House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes.
The Texas Constitution calls for the 32-member Texas Senate — 31 Senators and the Lt. Governor — to have a quorum of two-thirds of its members present in order to conduct a vote, which means that the absence of 11 members can prevent the Senate from voting. Eleven Democrats left the state to avoid being forced to return to the Senate by Texas Rangers, going to Oklahoma and New Mexico to be out of reach of Texas authorities. After successfully preventing a quorum for an entire 30-day special session of the legislature, Senator John Whitmire left New Mexico and returned to Texas. The remaining ten Senate Democrats (often referred to as the "Texas Eleven Minus One" following Whitmire's departure), stayed in Albuquerque for several more days but returned to Austin and the Texas Senate after Whitmire's presence on the Senate floor created the quorum needed for the Senate to meet.
The Texas Ranger Division, commonly called the Texas Rangers, is a U.S statewide investigative law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction in Texas, based in the capital city of Austin. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption, acted in riot control and as detectives, protected the governor of Texas, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force at the service of both the Republic (1836–1845) and the state of Texas.
Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
John Harris Whitmire is an American attorney and politician who is the longest-serving of current members of the Texas State Senate. Since 1983, he has representing District 15, which includes much of northern Houston, Texas. His tenure earns him the title of Dean of the Senate. Previously he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1973 through 1982. He also served as the Acting Governor of Texas in 1993 as part of the Governor for A Day tradition.
Texas political advisor Harold Cook helped organize the quorum break. Cook served as the group's primary spokesman, and stayed with the senators for the duration of their time in New Mexico.
The "Texas Eleven" senators were:
Gonzalo Barrientos, Jr. is a former Democratic member of the Texas Senate representing the 14th District from 1985 to 2007. He was also a member of the Texas House of Representatives from Austin from 1975 to 1985.
Rodney Glenn Ellis is an American politician. He represented Texas' 13th state senate district in the Texas Senate from 1990 to 2017. The district contains portions of Harris County, including downtown Houston, and Fort Bend County. He is a member of the Democratic Party. On June 25, 2016, Ellis won the Democratic Party's nomination for Harris County Commissioners Court Precinct 1. He was elected county commissioner on November 8, 2016 and sworn into office on January 1, 2017.
Juan Jesus "Chuy" Hinojosa is a Democratic member of the Texas Senate representing the 20th District.
A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group. According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, the "requirement for a quorum is protection against totally unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons."
The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral Texas Legislature. It consists of 150 members who are elected from single-member districts for two-year terms. As of the 2010 Census, each member represents about 167,637 people. There are no term limits, with the most senior member, Tom Craddick, having been elected in 1968.
Thomas Jefferson Rusk was an early political and military leader of the Republic of Texas, serving as its first Secretary of War as well as a general at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was later a US politician and served as a Senator from Texas from 1846 until his suicide. He served as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate in 1857.
James William Turner, known as Jim Turner, is an American lawyer and politician who was the Democratic U.S. Representative for Texas's 2nd congressional district from 1997 until 2005.
The Texas Archive War was an 1842 dispute over an attempted move of the Republic of Texas national archives from Austin to Houston and, more broadly, over then-president Sam Houston's efforts to make Houston the capital of Texas.
Helen Giddings is an American community leader, entrepreneur, and a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, a position that she has held since 1993 from her native Dallas County, Texas. She sits on the House committees of Appropriations, Calendars, and State Affairs, of which she is the vice chairman.
The 2003 Texas redistricting refers to a controversial mid-decade state plan that defined new Congressional districts. In the 2004 elections, this redistricting supported the Republicans taking a majority of Texas's House seats for the first time since Reconstruction. Opponents challenged the plan in three suits, combined when the case went to the United States Supreme Court in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry (2006).
The Twelfth Texas Legislature met from February 8, 1870 to December 2, 1871 in four sessions — provisional, called, regular, and adjourned.
The 2006 midterm elections were held on November 7, 2006. All 32 House seats in the United States Congress from Texas were up for election.
The Killer Ds are a group of Texas House Democrats who left Texas for Ardmore, Oklahoma during the week of May 12, 2003. The Killer Ds left to prevent House consideration of the redistricting legislation that would have benefited Texas Republicans. The Texas Constitution requires 100 representatives, or two-thirds of the 150-member House, to conduct business in the lower chamber. The absence of 52 House Democrats prevented Republican passage of the redistricting plan during the 2003 regular session. However, the quorum-busting tactic was ineffective as the redistricting plan was later passed.
Judith Pappas Zaffirini is a Democratic member of the Texas State Senate from the 21st District, which includes her home city of Laredo in south Texas. On January 9, 2007, Zaffirini became the second in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, of which she has been a member since 1987. Zaffirini has been named among the "Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States" by Hispanic Business magazine. Zaffirini is the first Mexican American woman elected to the Texas Senate.
The 2008 elections for the Texas delegation of the United States House of Representatives was held on November 4, 2008. 31 of 32 congressional seats that make up the state's delegation were contested. In Texas's 14th congressional district no one challenged incumbent Ron Paul. Since Representatives are elected for two-year terms, those elected will serve in the 111th United States Congress from January 4, 2009 until January 3, 2011.
The Texas Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the U.S. state of Texas, representing the Democratic Party. It is headquartered in downtown Austin, Texas.
Jessica Christina Farrar is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives. She was first elected to the legislature in 1994 at the age of twenty-seven and is the longest serving Hispanic member of the House from Harris County, Texas.
David McAdams Sibley Sr. is a lobbyist and attorney in Austin and Waco, Texas, who served from 1991 to 2002 as a Republican member of the Texas State Senate. Previously, he was from 1987 to 1988 the mayor of Waco, then an unelected and still a nonpartisan position, as are all elected municipal offices in Texas.
The 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas were held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 to elect the 36 U.S. Representatives from the state of Texas—an increase of four seats in reapportionment following the 2010 United States Census. The elections coincided with the elections of other federal and state offices, including a quadrennial presidential election and an election for the U.S. Senate. The primary election had been scheduled to be held on March 6, 2012, with a runoff election on May 22; because of problems arising from redistricting, the primary was postponed to May 29, and the run-off to July 31.
Donna Sue Burrows Campbell is the 25th District member of the Texas Senate. On July 31, 2012, she became the first person in Texas history to defeat an incumbent Republican senator, Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, in a primary election. She is a medical doctor who practices as an emergency department physician.
Peter P. Flores is an American retired game warden and politician from Pleasanton, Texas, who is a Republican Texas Senator from District 19, the largest Senate district in Texas. He is the first Hispanic Republican Texas State Senator in Texas history, and he is first Republican to be elected in District 19 in 139 years, since 1879 during the Reconstruction Era.