What with what many consider the “all important” general election coming up in 2012 it’s probably important to keep track of the redistricting imbroglio in Texas Red resulting from the 2010 U.S. Census. Then again, maybe not. It really is “déjà vu all over again.”
Once again the proposed Texas congressional map is headed for review by the Supremes (for the second time in five years) as if the state’s slave state legacy isn’t scary enough now the really scary Spanish Inquisition-like conservative majority Supremes get to chime in.
Whatever the outcome, the results will be significant for both the Texas Red 2012 election in particular and congressional redistricting in general. The U.S. elections process has always been skewed and marginally better than those in Russia or the Middle East. The machinations are just a little more creative, opaque and confusing to the un-indoctrinated.
The 2010 U.S. Census reflects that Texas Red’s Hispanic population grew by 33% and the African-American population by 16.2% while the Anglo-Saxon population lagged at 7.5%. In representative terms this means four new congressional districts. Given the ethnicity and racial make-up of the growth at least two of the seats should provide opportunity for Hispanics to gain representation. All four should recover voting strength for Hispanics and African-Americans where they were denid or diminished by the plan in place. Of course the operative word is “should.”
That, however, would be the case in a perfect or at least not racist world. Such is not the case in Texas Red. The state does have a slave state legacy to uphold after all.
“1) This is what happened, in a nutshell:Texas is gaining four congressional seats thanks to population growth, and the Republican Party, which controls the state legislature and governor’s mansion in Texas, drew an aggressive new congressional map that would allow the GOP to gain three of those four seats.” (despite the fact that the population growth was minority-driven and thus should gain the new seats)
“The problem for Texas Republicans is that, and for the lawmakers in other Southern states, their maps have to gain what is called “pre-clearance” from either the Justice Department or a Washington, D.C., district court, which verifies that their maps comply with the minority-protection standards in the Voting Rights Act.”
Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General (R) moved to gain pre-clearance for the Texas 2012 map by way of the D.C. court. But not so fast, the Justice Department opted to challenge the map arguing that the map as drawn by the majority GOPer legistlature “didn’t create enough majority-minority districts.” Imagine that. Almost all of the population growth was minority population yet the GOPer legislature created only one majority-minority district leaving the other three to the majority Anglo GOPers.
Consequently, the D.C. district court “ordered a three-judge panel in San Antonio (Bexar County) to draw an interim map to be used for at least the 2012 primaries” due to the lack of time in advance of the primaries.
“The three-judge panel drew a new map that, instead of giving Republicans three new seats, would likely give Democrats an equal number. So Texas Red’s Attorney General Abbott filed with the U.S. Supreme Court to block that map, which the Supreme Court has done, pending a January hearing.” (and we’re back to the scary part)
The process is being further complicated by the fact that state legislative and congressional elections filings period is now closed. With no legal map would be candidates can’t file for districts that haven’t been created.
The hearing for the redistricting case is scheduled for 9 January 2012. The D.C. district court trial is set for 17 to 26 January.
Complicating all this even further are challenges to the GOPer driven, minority voter suppressing Voter ID law. Guesses on the outcome of these hearings? We’ll take that up over the weekend.
Come on, I mean it—“democracy” ain’t it grand!! Democracy??? It’s more like mob-ocracy or “tyranny by majority” you know like the founders said.
From Texas Red: a cratered landscape of prisons, deplorable apartheid public education, lack of healthcare and politicians and majority population intent on keeping it that way…