Last week, as the Austin Chronicle reminds us, Rep. John Carter made “jumbled” statements about his reasons for wanting to delay the renewal of the Voting Rights Act. It seems like just yesterday he made those remarks but since then he’s been doing he’s best to clarify his position. He, and his press secretary, have been saying he was “misquoted” and “taken out of context”. He also stated that there was a need to delay the renewal in order to wait and see how the Supreme Court rules on the Texas redistricting case.
But with a new week comes more time for John Carter to speak on the issues. With the Supreme Court ruling on the redistricting case this week, and with it the only problem being an issue with the VRA, I’m sure Rep. Carter will have something to say about that. Well, let’s just say one man’s “troubling blend of politics and race” is another man’s “slight caveat”. What’s meant by that is that what Rep. John Carter called a slight caveat was a ruling by the Supreme Court that Congressional District 23 in South Texas violated the VRA. Here’s what he said:
â€œThe Supreme Court ruling is a huge victory for the people of Texas as well as the Republican Party,â€ said Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock. â€œWe won on every major point of contention.â€
â€œTodayâ€™s decision exonerates the Republicans of any wrongdoing. The majority opinion was that the current district map is a fair plan,â€ said Carter, who represents District 31, which includes Bell County. â€œIn short, the Supreme Court ruled that the new map is an improvement over the old gerrymandered map that was drafted by Democrats.
â€œThe only slight caveat to this victory is that the Supreme Court felt the Hispanic population in District 25 was not sufficiently compact and therefore not an acceptable majority-minority replacement for District 23.
â€œAt this point, it is unclear what action the three judge panel will take in terms of a remedy to affect me or the other districts surrounding mine in Central Texas,â€ Carter said. â€œI believe, however, that the court should allow the Texas Legislature to exercise its constitutional authority in coming up with any necessary remedy.â€
I’ll give him that it’s a victory for the Republican Party but the people of Texas? As long as you’re not one of the voters who happened to live in the illegal district. He’s basically saying that a violation of the voting rights of minorities in Texas is not a major point of contention and that the Supreme Court was just throwing a bone to those Texans down there.
This ruling affirms the need for the Voting Rights Act and preclearance in Texas because if a “right-wing” Supreme Court can still rule that it was violated then obviously there is still racism in Texas. John Carter should now do his best to quickly renew the VRA.
Read more on the VRA and Redistricting at Just Another Blog, Texas Redistricting Shows Importance of Voting Rights Act.