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Judicial District Requirements

Texas law states that the purpose of reapportionment of the judicial districts for the district courts is to promote "prompt and efficient" administration of government by equalizing the "judicial burdens" of the district courts. This differs from the purpose of redistricting representative districts, which is to equalize the populations of the districts. Caseloads and a number of other variables, some of which are difficult to quantify, may be factored into the measurement of "judicial burden." Judicial districts are not covered by the one-person, one-vote requirement and may have whatever populations the legislature considers appropriate.

The Texas Legislature may revise the judicial districts at any regular or special session. The Texas Constitution requires the Judicial Districts Board (JDB) to make a statewide reapportionment of judicial districts if the legislature does not do so by June of the third year following the federal decennial census. If the JDB fails to do so by August of that third year, the responsibility falls to the Legislative Redistricting Board.

The boundaries of the state's courts of appeals districts are determined solely by the legislature and are not required to be redrawn at any particular time.

The Texas Legislative Council, a nonpartisan legislative service agency, provides technical and legal support to the Texas legislature for redistricting.