Voter Suppression

Intentionally Discriminatory

Good news -- a three-judge panel in Texas ruled today that Texas' new redistricting plan was designed to intentionally discriminate against minorities, meaning the law is toast.

A redistricting plan signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) intentionally discriminated against Hispanic voters, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled Tuesday. The judges found that seats belonging to white incumbent members of Congress were protected under the plan while districts belonging to incumbent minorities were targeted for changes.

The court was “persuaded by the totality of the evidence that the plan was enacted with discriminatory intent,” according to the ruling. There was “sufficient evidence to conclude that the Congressional Plan was motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent,” the court found. [...]

The panel of three judges found that “surgery” had been performed on congressional districts belonging to minority members of Congress while no such alterations were made to districts belonging to incumbent white members of Congress.

“Anglo district boundaries were redrawn to include particular country clubs and, in one case, the school belonging to the incumbent’s grandchildren,” the judges wrote.

The efforts of Texas Republicans to suppress minority representation is clearly aimed at blunting the influence of a rising Hispanic population that could turn the state blue in the not-too-distant future.

This should not be confused with Texas' voter ID law which is still being challenged by the Department of Justice.

  • i_am_allwrite

    How fucked up was that plan if three TEXAS judges couldn’t find a way to uphold it? Or do they only pull out the rubber stamp in death penalty cases?

  • D_C_Wilson

    Wow. So in Texas, courts will strike down a redistricting plan if it’s “Intentionally discrminatory”.

    Meanwhile, here in PA, a voter ID law where the people behind it have admitted the minority suppression is a feature, not a bug, gets upheld by our courts.

  • bphoon

    Complete, total non-surprise. What, Texas GOP operatives gerrymandering congressional districts!?!? Why, I’m shocked! Shocked, I say!

    At least they got their redistricting plan, fucked up as it is, to their governor in time to have it signed. The Republican clown car here in Kansas couldn’t even do that. Fortunately for us, a three judge panel redrew our districts in a pretty fair, equitable way.

    Really pissed our erstwhile Gov. Brownshirt…er, Brownback…off.

    • IrishGrrrl

      I might be able to top your state’s clown car….Our Gov. Leatherface Brewer actually removed the independent person appointed to lead our redistricting committee. Her sin? Actually being fair with both parties. Heil Brewer!

      • bphoon

        I will say in all fairness that the main reason the legislature didn’t get a redistricting plan together in time is because Democrats and GOP moderates in the state Senate blocked all the whackadoodle nonsense coming out of the Tea Party GOP-controlled House. The House, of course, voted down all the plans that came out of the Senate.

        However, seven of eight of those GOP Senate moderates were defeated by Brownshirt’s hand-picked candidates in our recent primary election so, given the ease with which Republican candidates tend to win state legislature races here, it looks like the crackheads will have complete control of state government for the next two years.

        Brownshirt’s plan to reduce corporate taxes and eliminate income taxes (only for business owners, not for working people) will produce a $2.4 billion deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Kansas Legislative Council–this state’s version of the CBO. I hope folks are happy when property taxes increase and counties and municipalities start reducing services as a result.

        • IrishGrrrl

          While our Dems are completely outnumbered in the state leg, the end result is the same as you describe there. What’s really chapping my butt this year is that the best DEm candidate in eons to challenge Joe Arpaio is nowhere on the radar. I never hear about him on the news or see his signs…nothing. Even though he’s corrupt as all get out and under investigation, Maricopa County voters will probably vote his dumb ass back in. Anyway, I feel your pain.

  • Chrystal Cottrell

    A victory for Texas minority members of congress and their districts!

    • Not Sayin

      A victory for our state, period. This is the first good news I’ve seen in a while.

  • trgahan

    Clearly the work of activist judges forcing minorities into power.