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Thursday, June 29, 2006 

Spinning the Supreme Court Ruling

The US Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to uphold most of the Texas congressional district map has been spun in so many ways by the MSM and the Rethugs, it's hard to decide the victor.

In fact, Rick Perry was doing the happy dance in front of the MSM, anybody who was watching their local news would actually think the Rethugs did win.
"Today is a clear victory for our state as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Texas' redrawing of a gerrymandered map, and preserved the vast majority of the redrawn districts,"
The Republicans have already spin the ruling by calling the court ruling a "Republican victory," while having us overlook and play down how the Court actually handed a major victory to the Hispanic community. Not just the Hispanic community, but it is also a major victory for minorities in general. What is not being discussed by the Republicans is how the Court actually found that the redrawn map failed to protect minority voting rights.
The court, however, said that part of the new Texas map failed to protect minority voting rights, a small victory for Democratic and minority groups who accused Republicans of an unconstitutional power grab in drawing boundaries that booted four Democrats from office.
According Justice Anthony Kennedy:
In old District 23 the increase in Latino voter registration and overall population, the concomitant rise in Latino voting power in each successive election, the near victory of the Latino candidate of choice in 2002, and the resulting threat to the incumbent's continued election were the very reasons the State redrew the district lines. Since the redistricting prevented the immediate success of the emergent Latino majority in District 23, there was a denial of opportunity in the real sense of that term. Plan 1374C's version of District 23, by contrast, is unquestionably not a Latino opportunity district. That Latinos are now a bare majority of the district's voting-age population is not dispositive, since the relevant numbers must account for citizenship in order to determine the group's opportunity to elect candidates, and Latinos do not now have a citizen voting-age majority in the district.
...
By purposely redrawing lines around those who opposed Bonilla, the state legislature took the latter course. This policy, whatever its validity in the realm of politics, cannot justify the effect on Latino voters. ... The policy becomes even more suspect when considered in light of evidence suggesting that the State intentionally drew District 23 to have a nominal Latino voting-age majority (without a citizen voting-age majority) for political reasons. ... This use of race to create the façade of a Latino district also weighs in favor of appellants' claim.

...The State chose to break apart a Latino opportunity district to protect the incumbent congressman from the growing dissatisfaction of the cohesive and politically active Latino community in the district. The State then purported to compensate for this harm by creating an entirely new district that combined two groups of Latinos, hundreds of miles apart, that represent different communities of interest. Under §2, the State must be held accountable for the effect of these choices in denying equal opportunity to Latino voters.
...
Based on the foregoing, the totality of the circumstances demonstrates a §2 violation. Even assuming Plan 1374C provides something close to proportional representation for Latinos, its troubling blend of politics and race — and the resulting vote dilution of a group that was beginning to achieve §2's goal of overcoming prior electoral discrimination — cannot be sustained.
Although some many argue that the ruling affected one District, the ruling actually address two districts Districts 23 and 25. District 25 is not mentioned because the Court added 25 into the ruling of District 23 since District 25 was drasticlly changed since the Rethugs tried to cover up their abysmal master plan to suppress minority voters.
Because we hold Plan 1374C violates §2 in its redrawing of District 23, we do not addresses appellants' claims that the use of race and politics in drawing that district violates the First Amendment and equal protection. We also need not confront appellants' claim of an equal protection violation in the drawing of District 25. The districts in south and west Texas will have to be redrawn to remedy the violation in District 23, and we have no cause to pass on the legitimacy of a district that must be changed.
Modifing two congressional districts will have a ripple effect through out Texas. In fact, they will have to modify three congressional districts, CD 23, 25 and 28.

When the Rethugs broke up CD 23, they didn't break it into two even parts like the Rethugs would like us to believe, they gave one half of CD 23 to Bonilla and the other half was broken up further and placed into CDs 25 and 28 and this is the reason the League of the United Latin American Citizen (LULAC) focused on CD 23 the redistricting of Laredo, Webb County, TX. In fact, the Houston Chronicle also mentioned it in today paper.
Bonilla's district cannot be redrawn without making changes to District 28, held by U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and District 25, held by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.
And let's not kid ourselves why TX Rethug's made the decision to kill the vote on HR 9, the "Voting Rights Reauthorization Act of 2006. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, would like for us to believe there really isn’t "racial bias in Texas anymore." But this is just another Rethug façade - a Rethug Shangri-La. Once their glass house begins to crash down, their messages and actions are nothing but lies and spins with one purpose only - to oppress and suppress black, Hispanic and Native American voters by the hundreds of thousands.

The Greedy Old Party led by Tom DeLay have been and continue to run a massive operation to challenge the legitimacy of black, Hispanic and Native American voters here in Texas. And now that they have been caught, they are now circling the wagons and spinning it their way without being held accountable for their true actions behind the redistricting and their move to kill the VRA vote. The Texas Rethugs were hoping that the Supreme Court would eliminate the law so they wouldn't be caught by breaking the law. But it failed, just like their actions in the past.

Truth be told, Texas has a nasty history of using procedural tricks to suppress women, black, Hispanic and Native American from voting. In 1996, Texas was involved in a  previous case, Bush v. Vera, that also challenged the Texas congressional redistricting plan. In that case, the Supreme Court also ruled that the Texas congressional plan was unconstitutional because "race was 'the predominant factor' motivating the drawing of district lines and traditional, race neutral districting principles were subordinated to race."

With yesterdays ruling, the case is being sent back to the District Court and now the Rethugs will have to provide a plan that is constitutional.

It is time we stand together on the following demands. We shall not settle for anything less. We the citizens of Texas demand:
  • Immediate relief!
  • CD 23 go back to the original lines as it was before redistricting! and
  • The Texas delegation will be held accountable for their actions by calling up the tabled Voting Rights Act of 2006 for a House vote and will vote in favor of the ACT!
And if a ripple effect was created throughout the surrounding districts and Texas because CD 23 happened to be returned to its original lines - So be it! Hopefully, they will think twice before trying to suppress Hispanic voters.

The foundation of our DEMOCRACY is based upon the right of ALL citizens to equal participation in the voting process.

We will not and can not be silenced!

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  • From Tejas, United States
  • Un Xicano who is tired of the current status quo.
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