Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My congressional district is unconstitutional

The Supreme Court today threw out the Republican gerrymandering for Texas CD-23, which just happens to be my congressional district. It is currently represented ineffectively by right-wing wanker Henry Bonilla, a former TV newscaster turned politician. Bonilla nearly lost the seat a few years ago when Hispanics in the district began abandoning him in mass for conservative Democrat Henry Cuellar. In order to protect one of their few token Hispanics, Republican Party bosses led by Tom DeLay dumped more than 100,000 Hispanics from the 23rd District into the 28th as part of their Perrymandering scheme in 2003. The Supreme Court has now ruled that this effectively violated the Voting Rights Act. How and when it will be remedied is unclear, but it is likely that any fix will impact a number of other districts throughout the state - as Justice Kennedy alludes to here:

Kennedy's decision did not specify how quickly the lines of District 23 must be redrawn, but he said that more than one district would be affected.
"The districts in south and west Texas will have to be redrawn to remedy the violation in District 23, and we have no cause to pass on the legitimacy of a district that must be changed," he wrote.

I’m disappointed that the majority of the justices think it is OK to allow redistricting anytime the Legislature feels like it rather than limiting it to once a decade as had been the tradition. This is bad news for both parties, even though Republicans will pretend that it is a victory for them. But it is good that they nailed the GOP for their Voting Rights violations, just as the experts in the Justice Department had warned before Bush’s political flunkies overruled them.

Daily Kos and Off the Kuff have lots more on the decision.

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