Wednesday, September 21, 2011
COURT TO DECIDE REDISTRICTING FOR TEXAS
The Justice Department said Monday that Texas' state House and congressional redistricting plans didn't comply with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), indicating they thought the maps approved by Gov. Rick Perry (R) gave too little voting power to the growing Latino population in the state.
A special three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. will ultimately decide whether the redistricting plan for the state violates the VRA. That's because the state of Texas chose to skip the cheaper pre-clearance process, which would have put the decision in the hands of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. A hearing is set for Wednesday.
It is going to be interesting to see how the court rules. If you followed redistricting this year in the state, and if you took government in high school you got to see a textbook example of gerrymandering.
The point is redistricting should not be a politically led process. The reality is that areas with like issues and needs should be included in the same district. When you see the GOP redistricting committee take a district in South Texas and when they are done with it less than 2% of the original voters are still in that district you got to know something just ain't right.
Funny how the current rep Aaron Pena was elected as a Democrat in HD 41 and now the district lines have been changed so the district is a majority Republican district. By the way Pena switched parties after being elected. If the current district lines stand he will represent only 1.3% of his original district.
It is also interesting to note that the Justice Department is separately deciding whether a voter ID bill signed by Perry violates the Voting Rights Act. Keep a watch on what happens with the courts ruling. Could be a good indicator of whether or not there is any justice left in the Justice Department.