Thursday, May 23, 2013

A redistricting special session

Being on vacation for a week -- and now tending to a death in the family -- has left me unprepared to comment on current events. This post yesterday afternoon, however, by Harvey Kronberg is worth mentioning.


Abbott argues interim maps judicially approved; minority plaintiffs say process confirms intentional discrimination

It is an increasingly common article of faith that Governor Perry will call the Legislature back into a redistricting special session on May 29, two days after sine die.  Any number of other issues could be added to the call but Attorney General Greg Abbott’s clear message for months has been that the Legislature needs to endorse the interim maps, preferably before the Supreme Court rules on the Shelby case (expected in late June) which could determine whether or not Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act survives.

May 29 also happens to be the day the three judge federal panel in San Antonio has ordered a status hearing on Texas redistricting maps in order to prepare for the 2014 elections.  They have instructed lawyers to be prepared to argue whether or not evidence from the DC case should be admitted into evidence in the San Antonio case and whether the record should be supplemented with more current demographic and election data.
The three judge panel in DC unanimously concluded that Texas had intentionally discriminated against minorities in drawing the 2011 maps.

Apparently Greg Abbott is putting in a little extra work.

The linchpin of Republican control of the US House of Representatives is their dominance of state legislatures --- and the maps they draw -- which is one of the great algae blooms from the GOP's Red Tea Tide in 2010. Without the most odious gerrymandering, legislatures (and governors) in blue states like Wisconsin and Michigan wouldn't be able to accomplish what they have. What Abbott understands better than nearly everyone on his team is that the GOP is the besieged at the Alamo in terms of electoral inexorability. His lawsuits against the federal government only delay the day that the Republican party falls down in Texas, and fails to get up nationally for a generation or more.

But, as with the weekly Congressional vote to overturn Obamacare, he must keep fighting the good fight.

If the SCOTUS upholds VRA, then it's just back to the drawing board for everybody. But if they bag it, then the GOP can dig their little claws into the landscape for the rest of the decade.

If you think about it, it's really the only chance they have left to avoid going extinct on a national level.

Update: Kuffner with more.

No comments: