SCOTUSblog has the story:
Here is a key paragraph in Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s plurality opinion in the Texas redistricting case: “In sum, we disagree with appellants’ view that a legislature’s decision to override a valid, court-drawn plan mid-decade is sufficiently suspect to give shape to a reliable standard for identifying unconstitutional political gerrymanders. We conclude that appellants have established no legally impermissible use of political classifications. For this reason, they state no claim on which relief may be granted for their statewide challenge.”
The District that the Court found legally wanting is a huge Latino-dominated district that the state created in an attempt to salvage the political fortunes of a Latino member of Congress, Republican Henry Bonilla. He had been losing strength among Latino voters, so the state legislature drew a new district by including a largely Anglo, Republican area in central Texas. That, a Court majority found, was the product of a “troubling blend of politics and race — and the resulting vote dilution of a group that was beginning to achieve [the Voting Rights Act’s] goal of overcoming prior electorial discrimination.” It “cannot be sustained,” the Court concluded.
Whether the state legislature can repair the problem found by the Court in that one District without redrawing the plan statewide is uncertain at this point. The Court majority found no legal flaw in any other part of the plan.
My quick thoughts are:
I agree with Kuff’s World that I would have like to see mid-decade redistricting rules unconstitutional, I’m disappointed in that decision. It’s open season now and states will be redistricting at every time the power switches early in a decade.
The court took a pass on gerrymandering, which this obviously was.
But, overall, I like our candidates, I think we have better candidates and I think we can win in November!
Now let’s renew the VRA!
The Lege solve this?Â Give me a break!Â Time for Perry to call another special on redistricting.