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Parties Talk Settlement In Texas Redistricting Case

Parties Talk Settlement In Texas Redistricting Case

The mess that is the redistricting battle in Texas took one small step toward resolution this week. Lawyers from the Texas attorney general’s office and those representing minority groups met Friday to try and hammer out a settlement on how to draw the state’s electoral maps in a serious push to reach a compromise that would keep the state’s primary set for April 3rd.

The battle over the state’s electoral maps has volleyed between a San Antonio federal court and another in Washington which is trying to determine whether the congressional districts drawn by the GOP-controlled Legislature violates the Voting Rights Act. Closing arguments in the federal challenge are scheduled for Tuesday.

The San Antonio court had previously drawn interim maps but those maps were thrown out by the Supreme Court which ruled the San Antonio court failed to give enough deference to the map created by the Legislature and adjusted parts of the map where there was no Voting Rights Act argument.

A settlement on the maps would be a good thing for a lot of reasons. For starters, Republicans need to learn how to govern without overreach, and a settlement now would reinforce that message. Second, congressional districts drawn by parties with a stake in those districts and forced to compromise on those stakes will tilt toward fairness, or at least the appearance of such, compared to maps drawn by the courts.

Finally, the issue in all of these redistricting battles is to what extent are Republicans able to suppress minority votes. The premise alone should be repugnant to conservatives and liberals alike, but if it is not, a settlement will force those same factions who set out to disenfranchise American citizens for their own short-term political gain to deal with the fact by ceding the power they so desperately tried to snatch.

Related Stories:

SCOTUS Rejects Texas Court Redistricting Map

SCOTUS To Weigh In On Texas Redistricting

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Photo from hjl via flickr.

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33 comments

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5:57PM PST on Feb 22, 2012

Ta.

1:43PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Another P.S. Because states like Texas, where our Democratic votes don't count as long as an electoral system is in place, all the Democrats in blue and purple states absolutely have to vote, vote, vote your a$$es off to make up for the losses of all our red state democrats' votes! Thanks!!!

Oh! and register!!!

And one more thing, let's pray (to The Force, universe, Goddesses, tooth fairy, etc.) that we won't have another presidency stolen like what happened to Gore!

1:20PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

This gerrymandering must stop all over the country. You should see what they're doing here in NY.

11:03AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

The Republican party will do anything to stop their opponents from voting. This has been going on for years. We see it now with them changing voting day, times, and conditions. I think what we need is to stop politicians from drawing the maps. That is just a recipe for unfairness. Computers are the answer. Have computers draw the boundaries, they are none partisan.

10:18PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Thanks.

10:09PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

noted.

7:31PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

I should state that my comments are, at least, based on my own Dallas county experience. The rest of the state may also be experiencing the same, maybe worse.

7:27PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

It all started after the U.S. Census report. It informed Texans that minorities increased exponentially. Minorities, esp African Americans, felt they could finally have some influence via voting which would help them be better represented (by more democrats). As you can imagine the republican machine went into overdrive with the gerrymandering and redistricting. They also used the old 'divide & conquer' technique pitting Latinos vs African Americans by way of drawing the districts in a way that had Latinos (who are presumed politically divided) taking up some of the districts that African Americans (99% Democrat) once had. Also, as you all are probably not surprised they wanted a lot of it for themselves.

7:25PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

let the voting rights violations begin!

7:20PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Interesting.

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