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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

Supreme Court Ruling Hands a Victory to Hispanics

The Supreme Court made their ruling regarding the Rethug master plan to redistrict Texas' congressional map.
The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld almost all of Texas' Republican-friendly U.S. House election district map.
Although the news are saying it is a Republican victory, the court did hand a victory to Hispanics and other minorities.
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.
In a 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the opinion, ruled that TX Rethugs did violate the voting rights among Hispanics. Justice Kennedy said that the new plan violated their constitutional right to elect a candidate of their choosing in south and west Texas. Therefore the Court found that the state's new Congressional District 23 was invalid under the federal Voting Rights Act. The district in question is District 23, Rep Henry Bonilla's district.

According Justice 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.
The League of the United Latin American Citizen focused on CD 23 because the redistricting broke up Laredo, Webb County, TX - which happens to be over 90% Hispanic - in half. The break up placed one half in CD 23 and the other half in CDs 25 and 28. The Rethug plan also moved a large group of conservative voters from West Texas into district 23, therefore making it harder for the Hispanic voters to ever win another election.

Let's not kid ourselves about the TX Rethug's 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. However once their glass house has come crashing down, one can see their world is nothing more but to oppress and suppress black, Hispanic and Native American voters by the hundreds of thousands.

Let's not forget how the Greedy Old Party ran a massive operation to challenge the legitimacy of black, Hispanic and Native American voters here in Texas. And now they are trying to spin it their way without accepting the truth, the Supreme Court found that the methods they used in South and West Texas breached the Voting Rights Act.

The VRA was passed in 1965 because the Ku Klux Klan and other upright citizens were also trying to use procedural tricks - "literacy tests", poll taxes and more - to block minorities from voting. Nothing has changed. 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 so now they are spinning saying how the ruling worked in their favor.

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 stand together and demand immediate relief! We here in TX will not settle for anything less, we demand that the CD 23 go back to the original lines as it was before redistricting. And if this creates a ripple effect throughout the surrounding districts. So be it! We will not be silenced!

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

¡Qué viva la raza! y ¡Qué Viva Nuestra Comunidad!

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  • From Tejas, United States
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