The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would decide the validity of the much-disputed Congressional map that Texas Republicans pushed through the State Legislature two years ago in a highly unusual mid-decade redistricting that led to the loss of five Democratic Congressional seats.And the problem with that plan, is essentially this:
In the 2004 Congressional election, with the new plan in place, the Texas delegation went from an even division of 16 Republicans and 16 Democrats to 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats. The plan was engineered by Representative Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican and former House majority leader.At the risk of making a broad understatement...this should be an interesting case. Hopefully the fact that the Court is hearing it is a good sign for anyone who is concerned with the fragility of American democracy these days. The fact that a partisan state legislature can re-draw congressional district boundaries to its own party's benefit is remarkable in and of itself. Quite a power to wield. And apparently it has been exercised very controversially in the case of Texas.
"Tom DeLay and his corrupt cronies were willing to sacrifice the voting rights of millions of Texans to carry out a corrupt, partisan, mid-decade redistricting scheme," said Charles Soechting, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party in a statement expressing his hope that the court would overturn the plan.
One more example of a frail American democracy that will find it increasingly difficult to exercise any moral leadership in the world as a leading democracy if such practices are allowed to go unchecked...