January 20, 2012

SCOTUS gives Texas GOP 2/3 a loaf

That's my briefer take on the Supreme Court's ruling on the Texas redistricting lawsuit.

The Supremes said the San Antonio federal district court should have considered the original legislature-drawn redistricting maps, and that it should have confined the focus of its ruling and new map-drawing only to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, ignoring the Section 5 preclearance lawsuit in the District of Columbia Appeals Court.

The high court was following fairly clear precedent. Between that and the fact that there's no strong, old-e liberals on the court makes it little surprise the ruling was unanimous, even though the San Antonio court had the right ideas in mind.

But it's not a 100 percent loaf for the GOP. The San Antonio court can still do some tweaking, per the ruling, within Section 2, and the preclearance suit could still effect 2014 elections, or, plaintiffs in the district court suit could seek an expedited ruling from the D.C. Appeals Court, maybe.

Of course, a 2012 map in place itself sets precedent.

Basically, the state GOP decided to push the envelope as far as it could and challenge courts to try to do something about it.

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