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March 06, 2006

Redistricting case

Based on the apparent support from Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and John Roberts for Rep. Tom DeLay’s underhanded tactic of redrawing congressional boundaries to favor Republicans (3/2, A-7), it’s clear that partisan politics is alive and well, even in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Silly me. I should have known that these judges, loyal to the Republican constituency that put them there, are not about to just hand over seats to the Democrats, even though they may have been taken away illegally and unethically.

Eddie L. Clay
Grandview

Comments

Engineer

CRD
You have a good point, but change does occur although it took 40 years or so the change the majority in the House. All I am saying is that both parties Gerrymander and probably always will so long as we have political parties. As in most things there are some pros and cons. Gerrymandering has been used to create districts for minorities.

cosmos

Engineer,
"In this case what was done was perfectly legal, or so says the Supreme Court."

Nope, the SC hasn't ruled on the 4 appeals yet... sometime before July.

CRD

But here's a bigger question, Lloyd -- SHOULD the winners be able to redraw the lines according to their benefit? We live in a country where the incumbents get elected by a staggering margin. I don't have more recent numbers, but in 2002, out of 435 races for the House of Representatives, only four incumbents got beat, and in the last three election cycles including 2002, the House of Representatives has had an incumbent retention rate of more than 98 percent.

Shouldn't that be a bit worrisome?

Engineer

cosmos
It's called Politics and it's what the winners get to do. In this case what was done was perfectly legal, or so says the Supreme Court.

cosmos

Lost,
Forming districts based only on population size would be a better way.
Delay's gang instead used a computer to redraw TX (drawn by a federal court in 2001) to maximize their power. The new map was used in 2004 elections. Before '04, D's had small majority of 17 to 15 (53%). After '04, R's had big majority of 21 to 11 (64%).

Austin got chopped into skinny districts going to the southern border, and to near Houston -- with very diverse constituents. Maps and other info,
Click on "U.S. Congressional Districts" at http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3724372.stm
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-02-27-scotus-DeLay_x.htm

Lost_In_Ambivalence

It would seem to me that the best approach to this would be to take zip codes, enter them, their neighbors, and their populations into a computer and have the computer form districts that accurately reflect populations and have no sense of political ties.

Engineer

Both parties induldge in Gerrymandering. The Democrats had Gerrymandered the existing districts to give them a majority of the Texas US House seats, despite the fact that the majoritty of the people voted Republican. This was pointed out by Chriss. The proposed redistricting will probably result in a majority of the US House seats going to Republicans, but that is the way the majority of citizens vote. On that basis, it would seem that the proposed redistricting may result in a more correct representation for the people of texas in the US House than does the present districting. Of course, Mr Clay is way off base. The Supreme Court will not unseat anyone or appoint anyone. Congresspeople will be elected or dismissed by the voters of Texas, just as they are now.

Jim Dent

"....We'll never know because the fair and balanced journalist who wrote the piece thought it more important to tell us about a single line from Justice Kennedy than to tell us about the outcome of the case. Interesting, to say the least, but not very helpful or imformative."

Re-read the article.
"The practical impact of the ruling, EXPECTED BEFORE JULY (my emphasis), is significant." They haven't voted yet Chris, therefor the reporter couldn't keep you more informed.....

Looked like a pretty fair and balanced report to me. The reporter quoted both side's of the asile pretty evenly, without injecting his own opinion's...... Opened with Kennedy's remark, closed with remark's from both Roberts and Scalia....
And the TITLE is: Redrawn districts appear OK to justices

If your trying to say this is part of the liberal media bias, I would disagree.

Ray Seay

c40

GOOD ANALYSIS;;

If you want partisanship and party loyalty, look at the 2000 election court fight.
100% of the democrats on the Florida supreme court favored Sen Kerry.
On the US supreme court 100% of the democrats favored Sen Kerry while 30% of the republicans supported the democrat Kerry.

Chris40

A few thoughts, about the letter and about the article it commented upon. The article first: What struck me most was how the lede of the article was a single line by Justice Kennedy, who called the redistricting "insulting." How did Kennedy vote on the case? How did any of the nine justices vote? The only clue we get is that there is NOT broad support in overturning the redistricting plan. Perhaps, you know, the law is with Tom Delay on this one. We'll never know because the fair and balanced journalist who wrote the piece thought it more important to tell us about a single line from Justice Kennedy than to tell us about the outcome of the case. Interesting, to say the least, but not very helpful or imformative.

As to the letter, the redistricting was not illegal, by definition, if the Court upholds it as legal. Was it unethical? My understanding is that Texas is a very Republican state, yet the congressional districts were drawn in such a way that they were still sending a majority of democrats to Washington every two years. Now THAT seems unethical. Perhaps by redrawing the lines to better reflect the state's political ideology, Texas is now more fairly, ethically, and legally represented now than before the redistricting.

One thought that seems to have completely escaped the letter's author is that when the Court upholds a law, it upholds that law for everyone, republicans and democrats alike.

 
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