The Supremes: Stop! In the Name of Lloyd

tx-redistricting.jpgThe highest court in the land finally ruled on the partisan power grab known as Texas redistricting (aka Mr. Gerry Mander). Much to the chagrin of Texas Democrats, civil libertarians, and other endangered species, the Supreme Court largely upheld the plan crafted by Tom DeLay and his TRMPAC cronies.

For those wishing to see the stain of corruption and money laundering washed away from political redistricting, the Supreme Court decision is mostly a disappointment. But then, so is the truth about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Redistricting has historically been a political mish-mash of favoritism and spoils, prompted by the changing demographics reported in each decennial census. In a broad 7-2 majority, the court rejected the notion that the Texas plan was any more or less putrid than previous efforts simply because it occured mid-decade and favored Republicans rather than Democrats.

But there is some solace for local Democrats, since the court indirectly addressed the tortured district of Austin institution Lloyd Doggett. In a separate vote, the justices narrowly decided that Distict 23 violates the Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of the burgeoning Hispanic vote along the Rio Grande. It also forces San Antonio to share Henry Bonilla with El Paso and Fundamentalist Mormon fugitives, which could make for an entertaining campaign someday.

By redrawing District 23, Doggett’s meandering home from Austin to the border (District 25) will also be affected. Maybe this time Lloyd’s district could be disaggregated to include only rabid secessionists and the Cabela’s in Buda, or perhaps merged with neighboring Districts 15 and 28 into a square circle Demo-take-all deathmatch between Doggett, RubĂ©n Hinojosa, and Henry Cuellar. Even with DeLay now officially a Cavalier, I’m sure someone in the Texas Republican party can get paid enough to creatively derail democracy.

The full, convoluted ruling [.pdf] and a Texas congressional map [.pdf] are online courtesy of our beloved daily.

3 Comments so far

  1. Chip (unregistered) on June 28th, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

    Unfortunately, representation for major metropolitan areas is not a part of the Voting Rights act, so the fact that Austin is without representation could not be considered.

    How ironic that Delay compatriots in Congress are fighting renewal of the Voting Rights Act. This ruling shows not only is it needed, maybe it needs expansion to protect against cynical gerrymandering.

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on June 28th, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

    What’s astonishing is that all the early reports failed to mention the name of the one Congressional district held to be in violation of the VRA. How’s that for reporting?

  3. ttrentham (unregistered) on June 28th, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

    More in-depth coverage than Nina Totenberg can shake a stick at at SCOTUSBlog: here and here.

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