Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Insanity Defined

One way to define insanity is the act of doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting a different result. This is what Texas' governor Rick Perry is now engaged in, an act of insanity, in calling the state legislature back into special session this week so that they can redraw the boundaries of state house, state senate, and congressional districts.
It seems that the last time that the state legislature did this, they drew boundaries that were so outrageously in violation of the Voting Rights Act that it took a 3-justice federal district court panel, two of them appointed by Bush, to tell the state legislature that they had violated the VRA so heinously that the boundaries were not fixable.
So the justices drew up the boundaries themselves, and did a great job of it.
For instance, since Texas rated another 4 congressional seats since the 2010 census, the legislature awarded three of them through gerrymandering to three Republicans, and only one to a Democrat. Now Texas rated 4 more seats because of a sharp growth in population, much of it due to an increase in African-American and Hispanic numbers. Giving 3/4 of the new seats to Republicans bespoke the outrageous racial bigotry that pervades the Republican Party in the Texas legislature.
The justices fixed it and then we had a belated primary election that counted for little and got Ted Cruz the nomination in a low-turnout primary.
So now Rick Perry wants to do it all over again, and this time without the Yankee justices going all fair and just. Going all colorblind.
Rick Perry wants a do-over, a third re-districting to put all the Republican plans back in place as Texas Democrats are poised to register a million new voters for the mid-term election.
So guess what is going to happen? Absolutely the same thing as before. Out will come LULAC and the other assorted watchdog groups that brought the lawsuit challenging the legality of the last redistricting.
All of this, and nothing will change except for a bunch of lawyers will all have jobs as we litigate this whole mess yet one more time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Frankly, this special session needed to be postponed until after the Supreme Court rules in the VRA case -- then we will know what the ground rules are moving forward.