Via The Stakeholder we hear that the Tom DeLay-orchestrated illegal mid-decade gerrymandering of Texas’ congressional districts is back in court today.
A three-judge federal panel will get another crack at Texas redistricting as it tries to draw the line on partisanship in the mapping process.
The panel will hear oral arguments in Dallas today after the U-S Supreme Court remanded the case in October for the three judges’ review.
Last year, judges ruled constitutional the map that sent a Republican majority from Texas to the U-S House for the first time since Reconstruction. Whatever the judges decide this time, all seem agreed the case will return to the Supreme Court.
The Supremes punted the Texas case back down to the three-judge federal panel and ordered them to review the new Texas map in light of a 5-4 SCOTUS ruling last spring in which they left a narrow opening for challenges claiming party politics overly influenced election maps. Many of us viewed this as a craven decision by the court to avoid electoral turmoil prior to the November election. Certainly, the justices themselves were capable of determining if the political gerrymandering in Texas was allowable or not based on their own decision.
I don’t expect the three Texas judges to reverse themselves (and if they did the GOP would certainly appeal) so this case will pop back into the Supreme’s aged laps before long.