Monday, December 12, 2005

Democrats Take Texas to Supreme Court

According to the front page of the New York Times, the Supreme Court will hear a case brought by Democratic groups against Tom DeLay's redistricting plan that allowed Republicans to take five seats from incumbent Democrats in the 2004 election.

Who knows how this case could go? The constitutional accusations made by the Democrats seem hazy, as I only know of one precedent involving congressional districts: that they need to be approximately the same size in population. However, they will have to convince the justices that the redistricting in Texas was so grossly mishandled that the resulting districts don't allow the constitutents proper representation. Of course, every judge on the court already knows this. That is the point of redistricting after all. It's done to diminish the political power of one group of people and maximize that of another constituency.

A Democratic victory in court would set a huge precedent for redistricting. Because remember, redistricting is a fundamental pillar of politics. Everybody does it. It's part of being in power. So if the court is going to rule that the Texas congressional districts are unconstitutional, it better set some guidelines for states to follow or else they will be swamped with lawsuits from the minority party in every state.


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