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October 20, 2004

Map Quest

I’ve been put out about Congressman Tom (“Reprimand Me Again”) Delay’s redistricting power play for over a year now. That’s six Texas congressional seats he secured for the Republicans, in spite of the courageous battle state Democrats waged before going down.

This week, however, the Supreme Court ordered a review of the revised Texas map. In general, the court has avoided interceding in redistricting maneuvers. The concern, however, is that redistricting out of political motivation could, as Justice Kennedy wrote, possibly deny voters “the rights of fair and effective representation.”

The composition of the court, and the case history, suggests the revised Texas map will stand. But one can still hope. (And continue to raise the court’s future as a vital issue in the presidential election.)


  • Annoying Old Guy

    Yes, so unlike the previous map drawing efforts by the Democratic Party dominated state legislature, which were models of non-political purpose even as they created Democratic Party majorities to Congress from Republican majority votes. Is this just one more thing that only the Democratic Party can do?

    Personally, I favor the rule that if there are multiple competing maps, the one with the shortest total borders wins, subject to requiring a no more than 10% population difference between the largest and smallest districts. But that would devastate the Democratic Party, so I doubt we’ll be seeing it anytime soon.

  • Annoying Old Guy

    Oh, and I forgot to point out that this is the first redistricting since the 2000 Census. The 2000 Texas legislature was deadlocked and unable to agree on a redistricting plan. What do you think should have been done instead? Wait until 2010? Or just until there was a Democratic Party majority in the Texas legislature?

    Check the legislative history yourself.

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