Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Redistricting lawsuits reflect Callow Failures of Texas' Congressional Republicans

"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Revelation 21:8

Yesterday evening, we were discussing the 2018 general election with a source; that source pointed out that ongoing Federal litigation is a wild card whose impact we don't yet know.

From this past March:
Some of Texas’ 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act, a panel of federal judges ruled Friday.

In a long-delayed ruling, the judges invalidated the congressional map that Texas lawmakers drew in 2011.

In a 2-1 decision, the judges pointed to Congressional District 23, which stretches from San Antonio to El Paso, takes in most of the Texas-Mexico border and is represented by Republican Will Hurd of Helotes; Congressional District 27, represented by Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi; and Congressional District 35, a Central Texas district represented by Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.
Then in April:
A federal judge ruled on Monday that the voter identification law the Texas Legislature passed in 2011 was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters, raising the possibility that the state’s election procedures could be put back under federal oversight.

In a long-running case over the legality of one of the toughest voter ID laws in the country, the judge found that the law violated the federal Voting Rights Act.

The judge, Nelva Gonzales Ramos of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, had made a similar ruling in 2014, but after Texas appealed her decision.
Also in April:
Texas statehouse districts drawn by the Republican-led legislature in 2011 intentionally diluted the votes of minorities, violating the U.S. Constitution and parts of the Voting Rights Act, a federal court ruled Thursday.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel in San Antonio found that the maps gave Republicans an advantage in elections and weakened the voting strength of minority voters. House Districts in Dallas and Tarrant counties were among those in which the judges ruled minority voters had seen their clout weakened.

The ruling is yet another blow to the state in its six-year legal battle over the redrawing of the maps. Last month, the same court found that the state's congressional maps were drawn with intent to discriminate against minority voters and invalidated three congressional districts. And last week, a federal judge ruled that the state's voter ID law was written with intent to discriminate.
This website doesn't often comment on federal issues, but with three federal rulings in the past six weeks the time has come to ask...where the hell is our congressional delegation?!?

Texas' congressional delegation currently has a 25/11 partisan R/D split.  Furthermore, several of those members are part of leadership.  That's more than enough to move bills.

 A few plausible actions they could take:
  • Amending the voting rights act to explicitly state that it doesn't apply to voter ID laws.
  • Reforming the selection process for these three judge panels to disallow the type of judge shopping that always occurs in these cases.
  • Impeaching Judge Xavier Rodriguez, the leftist Dubya appointee who always seems to be at the center of these cases.
But instead Texas is left to the mercy of the federal judiciary while our congressional delegation twiddles their thumbs.

And while we're on the subject: Where the hell is Ted Cruz?!?  On the subject of judicial lawlessness, Senator Cruz recently floated the idea of breaking up the Ninth circuit.  While that proposal is commendable, it would help if the only prominent conservative representing Texas at the Federal level would devote attention to the same thing happening in his backyard.

Bottom Line: The uselessness of our congressional delegation isn't exactly news, but still....

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