The Houston Chronicle reports that a three-judge federal panel has upheld the Texas GOP's redistricting plan. The plan alters the currently gerrymandered districts into one which is more in line with the state's voting patterns. Despite the fact that every statewide office is held by a Republican, and about 60% of the state votes for Republican senators and presidential candidates, the current house delegation is 17-15 in favor of Democrats. The new plan creates a map that is expected to change that to a 22-10 Republican delegation.
As can be expected, the congressional Dems are foaming at the mouth:
"By judicial fiat, a three-judge federal panel has effectively repealed the Voting Rights Act and turned back the clock on nearly 40 years of progress for minority voters," said U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, D-Dallas.
Not mentioned in the Houston article is the fact that Frost's district is divided into five GOP districts in the new plan, so he's just a bit perturbed. (That information can be found in this article from the Dallas Morning News ; registration required.)
Even if the the Dems get four Supreme Court judges to agree to hear the case, it is likely that the new map will be used in the upcoming election. In any case, it's funny to see Eddie Bernice Johnson arguing against the redistricting. Discussing redistricting in the 90's, she said:
[The redistricting process] "is not one of kindness. It is not one of sharing. It is a power grab."
Now that her party is not doing the grabbing, she's bent out of shape. Tough.
(UPDATE: Jim Miller sent me an e-mail pointing out that only four SCotUS justices are required to accept a review, not five. I have updated the post accordingly.)
posted on January 07, 2004 06:31 AM
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