Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Redistricting Redux

The United States Supreme Court hears arguments over Texas redistricting starting tomorrow. If the justices toss the 2003 redistricting, it could mean new primary elections. According to the Houston Chronicle story:
Confused? Wait until Wednesday afternoon. In a special two-hour argument session, a newly reshaped high court is expected to ping-pong questions at lawyers on each side of the dispute. The justices' task is to dissect the finer points of four cases that challenge everything from the timing of the redistricting to the alleged dilution of minority voting strength to the inherently partisan nature of political gerrymandering to whether the court should even be deciding these matters.
Courts have pretty much always allowed gerrymandering -- the idea being that politicians, not judges, should make the rules for carving up congressional districts. In my nonlawyerly opinion, the question in this case is whether the redistricting goes too far and violates the Voting Rights Act. Some Justice Department lawyers agree that it does.

Here's hoping the Supremes do what's right and throw out the 2003 map.


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