Supreme Court Gets Territorial
When the Supreme Court heard the soporific oral arguments about why Tom DeLay's 2003 Texas redistricting plan lacked any "rational, legitimate public purpose," it was reported that Justice Ginsburg actually fell asleep in her custom-made chair. Remarked Tim Cavanaugh at the time: "Finally, A Ruth Bader Ginsburg decision I can support."
Three months later, the SCOTUS has awakened to reject statewide gerrymandering claims made against Tom DeLay and his crew. The only district with which the high court found a problem was the West Texas district represented by Henry Bonilla, which SCOTUS ruled to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act because it dilutes the voting power of Latinos.
While lower courts have struck down such redistricting in the past, the new ruling opens the door for renewed redistricting efforts across the nation. The onus is now on state representatives to control themselves, and on voters to control them. Another alternative is something modeled on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's defeated plan to hand the redistricting power to an independent panel of retired judges.
I know what you all are wondering: What does Jeff "Voice of the New Media" Gannon have to say on the matter? Well, his only qualm lies in the fact that he thinks West Texas is already Hispanic enough. "What is nonsensical about the decision is that Henry Bonilla is Hispanic!" he notes, clearing things up.