May 13, 2003

Texas, Redistricting and the Supremes

The story of the Killer Dís in Texas has led to some discussion at CalPundit and OTB about the constitutionality of districts (shapes, motives for redsitrcting, etc.). In looking at recent Supreme Court rulings on this issue (Shaw v. Reno, Shaw v. Hunt, and Hunt v. Cromartie) I have reinforced some of my understanding of what the Court might, or might not, find to be acceptable.

  • One clear ruling in all three cases is that you canít gerrymander districts for the clear and expressed purpose of favoring a specific race, as such a policy violates the Equal Protection Clause.
  • The Hunt case makes it clear that a legislature purposefully drawing a district for political advantage is not sufficient reason to declare the district illegally gerrymandered, and
  • the district in Texas that Kevin highlights should easily pass muster, as it really isn't all that unusual in its shape.

So, really, this is looking more and more to me like a case of sour grapes on the part of Texas Democrats who are simply suffering what other political minorities suffer across the country, including California, where the Democrats have effectively drawn districts to their favor.

Shockingly, this is all about politics.

Posted by Steven Taylor at May 13, 2003 03:29 PM | TrackBack
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