Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Court Sells Out Voters

The US Supreme Court has decided in a 5-4 vote that the Texas redistricting plan is not unconstitutional. The Court, however, is wildly spit in its justification for its decision, which means that this may be challenged at a later date. That said however, it seems to me that it was a bad decision.

1. It may set off similar plans across the country.
2. Gerrymandering in general needs to be halted. I always learned that it was unconstitutional, but apparently it isn't and even the Court has a hard time defining what constitutes a gerrymander.
3. By allowing mid-term redistricting, i.e. districting not linked to the census, people may find themselves shuffled from district to district from election to election. This means that they can't hold their representatives accountable for anything. This would further divorce the voter from the democratic process.

This last point is the one that I find the most compelling and worrisome. So my question to the Citizens is what do you all think? Now that the Court session is wrapping up, what do we think of this newly constituted Court and what do we see coming in the future?


Anonymous said...

The Court even seemed to rule that redistricting for purely partisan motives is OK. In a perfect world, there would be a bi-partisan commission that would decide on districts. In Texas, they have a purely mono-partisan system which begs to be abused.

I don't know what the system is currently in California but if I were a Democrat in that state, I'd be very tempted to really torture the districts in Orange County and San Diego County until you have most of the OC represented by Latino Democrats. And then tell all your collegues in New York and Illinois how you did it. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

In CA, we have a law forbidding redistricting except once a decade. In 2001, the redistricting plan protected *all* incumbents, including the existing substantial Democratic majority, thus sailed through.

If Angelides is elected in 11/06, the Dems can change CA law, then take the Delay Rule and gerrymander several Republican seats out of existence, which I suspect they well might. Why not, when we're playing for keeps? 

// posted by LTG

Dr. Strangelove said...

I expect RbR and (to a lesser extent) LTG to be content with the Supreme Court's decision in this case. Both RbR and LTG have have strongly defended the practice of partisan redistricting by the legislature (although LTG has begun to balk at the massive "incumbency protection" program in California, and supported last year's failed redistricting reform initiative.)

The Delay redistricting in Texas is merely the latest frontier in Gerrymandering, the latest reductio ad absurdum of the argument that such pratices are acceptable. Because if it is acceptable to redraw the districts every ten years, then why not every five? USWest avers that mid-term redistricting is "not linked to the census," but is the decennial redistricting truly "linked" to the census by anything more than a coincidence of timing? What principle did the Republicans break in Texas other than tradition?

If you accept the notion that the legislature may set its own boundaries however it pleases, then one may only tip one's hat to the creative Texas GOP.