Yesterday Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott pitched a hissy fit over a 3-judge panel’s artwork as they redrew state senate and house district maps, correcting the Republican-dominated state legislature’s ham-handed attempt to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of minority voters.
The federal court judges, two of which are Republican, Abbott claims were trying “to make policy” rather than applying the law.
But I beg to differ.
Since the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, every redistricting action that took place in
has had to be reviewed by federal judges and the Department of Justice in order to verify that the state has not reverted to its bad old days shenanigans of denying minorities of their voting rights. One of these rights is the right to be heard in the halls of state legislatures and congress. Texas
A right that the Republican-dominated state legislature sought to deny them of in this past legislative session.
So the 3-dudge panel drew up interim maps to be used in the 2012 election cycle until the state can come up with district maps that better reflect the demographics and ethnicity of the communities within each district.
Ironic, isn’t it, that here in the 2nd decade of the 21t century we are still fighting over this? And yes there are still pure evil racists out there who want these gerrymandered districts the way they were, but the grand majority, I would argue, these days are not so motivated by racial hatred in drawing the boundaries, although some may argue with me on this. These days it’s not about race, it’s about politics. Fact is, minority voters tend to vote in their own self interests, and that would be to vote Democratic.
The need for the VRA has changed, but enforcement of the VRA continues to evolve as we as a society do.