Friday, January 20, 2012

SCOTUS tells lower court: Start over on TX maps

"And this time, make 'em more like the Republicans drew 'em".

The Supreme Court on Friday instructed a lower court in Texas to take a fresh look at election maps it had drawn in place of a competing set of maps from the Texas Legislature. The justices said the lower court had not paid enough deference to the Legislature’s choices and had improperly substituted its own values for those of elected officials.

“To avoid being compelled to make such otherwise standardless decisions,” the Supreme Court’s unsigned decision said, “a district court should take guidance from the state’s recently enacted plan in drafting an interim plan. That plan reflects the state’s policy judgments on where to place new districts and how to shift existing ones in response to massive population growth.”

Adding to the clusterfuck...

The justices acted just 11 days after hearing arguments in the case. Primaries in Texas had already been moved back to April. For those primaries to proceed, officials there said, an answer from the courts was needed by Feb. 1. [...]

One set of maps was drawn by the Legislature, which is controlled by Republicans. Those maps seem to favor Republican candidates. The other set was drawn by a special three-judge federal court in San Antonio, and it increases the voting power of Hispanic voters and seems to help Democratic candidates.

A unanimous ruling. As in 9-0.

So it appears the three-judge panel in San Antonio will go back to the drawing board, under a severe deadline to produce additional maps ... presumably still subject to approval of The Nine. If all that can't happen by February 1 -- 8 business days from today -- then the Texas primaries will get pushed to later in the year, creating still more chaos.

Where's all that wailing from conservatives about "activist judges" now?


Matt Bramanti said...

"Where's all that wailing from conservatives about 'activist judges' now?"

I can't speak for conservatives in general, but I'm not a fan of the case being in court at all. Redistricting is a legislative function, and the Legislature performed its function.

PDiddie said...

A legislature also performed its function in 1964, and reaffirmed that law in 2006. Does that not count for you?

Of course this case wouldn't BE in court if it weren't perceived to be in violation of the LAW. Which this Court appears to want to overturn.

What is more 'activist' than overturning settled law, legal precedent -- and legislative mandates like the VRA?

This is the hypocrisy conservatives demonstrate in full view (that they cannot see).

No more silliness, Matt. Greg's already worn my patience threadbare.