New Book by the Late Steve Bickerstaff Addresses the History of Redistricting in Texas

Gerrymandering Texas by Steve Bickerstaff, a history of districting in Texas, has been published by Texas Tech University Press. The book encompasses the entire scope of congressional and legislative redistricting in Texas from 1836 to the present with the primary emphasis on the modern era, which began in the 1960s with one-person, one-vote requirements and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

The author, Steve Bickerstaff, was one of the two founders of the law firm now known as Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP. The firm is based in Austin with additional offices in El Paso and Houston. A former parliamentarian of the Texas Senate, Bickerstaff represented the State of Texas in major redistricting litigation when he was the head of a division in the Office of the Texas Attorney General. After founding the private law firm, he counseled the Senate and the Legislative Redistricting Board in the 1981 redistricting and subsequently represented the State in litigation in that decade. In subsequent decades he represented various government entities in the redistricting process.

Steve Bickerstaff died in October 2019, shortly after the manuscript was completed and sent to the publisher. C. Robert Heath, the other co-founder of the Bickerstaff Heath firm and an experienced litigator and counselor on redistricting issues, then worked with the publisher to finalize the book for publication. Mr. Heath wrote the foreword to the book and is listed as its editor.

As part of his foreword, Mr. Heath writes “There was no one better able to write this story. . ..[T]he story of Texas redistricting and Steve’s professional life overlapped substantially across a long and meaningful period. It is doubtful that there are many, if any, persons who had such a deep involvement in these issues over such an extended and critical period in the history of Texas redistricting. Thus, as readers go through the [book], they will have the benefit of the perspective of an author who was, in the words of the musical Hamilton, literally in the room where it happened.”

For more information on Gerrymandering Texas, please visit the publisher’s website.

More information on the life and career of Steve Bickerstaff can be found here.

The featured image that accompanies the title/preview of this article on our News page was used with permission by Texas Tech University Press.