If Nothing Else, MALDEF's Very Happy With the Federal Court's New State Redistricting Map

PlanC220.jpg
Via the Texas Legislative Council
About a month ago we noted that the Department of Justice was very unhappy with how state legislators redrew Texas's congressional districts -- something to do with how the new map "actually reduced minority electoral power" in Dallas-Fort Worth, for starters. Hence the ongoing litigation in San Antonio and D.C. Now, to the mix, add this twist: The federal courts have proposed an interim solution that FOX News says "could favor Democrats." Dunh dunh dunh.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott tried to head this off at the pass last week, filing in San Antone this objection that insisted, "A federal court lacks constitutional authority to interfere with the expressed will of the State Legislature unless it is compelled to remedy a specific, identifiable violation of law." To which the court responded with this map. To which Thomas Saenz, MALDEF's president and general counsel, responds via an email that just landed in the Unfair Park inbox:
Today's court-ordered congressional redistricting plan ... creates a congressional district in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (CD 33) that contains a plurality of Latino population and is likely to grow into a Latino opportunity district over the next decade. At trial, MALDEF argued that the over 1 million Latinos in the Dallas- Fort Worth Metroplex area should have the opportunity to elect their candidate of choice.
Update at 5:26 p.m.: This just in from State Rep. Eric Johnson, who says:
"I'm very excited that I will have the opportunity to represent so many new constituents, although I will miss the ones I am losing greatly," said Johnson. "They should know, however, that they will always have a friend in the Texas House as long as I'm there."

The new District 100 includes Arlington Park, the Medical District, the Design District, parts of West Dallas, Oak Lawn, and Oak Cliff as well as the Cedars, South Dallas and Pleasant Grove.

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10 comments
bbetzen
bbetzen

 The judicially mandated map is almost as badly gerrymandered as the originally approved map by the Texas Legislature.  Texas is 55% minority but only 39% of the 36 districts in the mandated map are majority minority.  Meanwhile, if you study the numbers closely (linked from http://dallasredistricting2011... you will see that half of the 14 districts in the mandated map are over 80% minority while none of the 22 Anglo majority districts are over 77% Anglo.  This is obvious evidence of gerrymandering.  Texas has a major problem with democracy.  How can we fight to impose democracy on other countries when this is what is happening here at home?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

The new court mandated Congressional map has the 30th Congressional District (a.k.a. the "Dirty Thirty") now reaching just inside the very southern part of Highland Park.  Can't imagine those folks are gonna be real psyched.

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

Fortunately some members of the minority community are not celebrating the so called "victory" in federal court this past week when a new map was created by the federal court because the submitted Texas Congressional map was terribly unfair. The new map is certainly an improvement, but look at the numbers!

The 2010 Census of Texas shows that 55% of the population of Texas is made up of people who are classified as minorities, and only 45% are white, non-hispanic. Meanwhile we have a map that has been "improved" by the federal court from having 10 out of 36 districts that have a minority majority, to having 13 out of 36 (or 36%) which are now minority majority. Thus a state that is only 45% Anglo, non-hispanic, has a redistricting plan that provides 23 districts (or about 64%) wherein the majority population are Anglo, and that is "fair?"

Do you think the legislature cut education funds by 4 billion dollars with the goal being that fewer people would notice such math?

Anyone who does not see the error in these numbers may not understand the difference between the voting booth and the redistricting table. The redistricting table is where everyone is counted. No longer is being a slave a reason for only being counted as 2/3 of a person. Such counting was declared illegal about one and a half centuries ago. Women were counted long before they were guaranteed the right to vote less than 100 years ago. Meanwhile, a very different counting happens at the voting booth. That is where citizenship counts. That is where the ability to vote counts. We will not have justice in redistricting until this difference is reflected in redistricting!

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

Damn, it looks like I going to have a worser Congress Person. I went from Eddie Bernice Johnson to no Jeb Hensarling!

DFW75208
DFW75208

I may not be reading this post correctly.  The subject is the redistricting of the congressional districts. What does Eric Johnson, who is a state rep, have to do with this?

Guesty McG
Guesty McG

"...over 1 million Latinos in the Dallas- Fort Worth Metroplex area..."

Of which maybe 150K are eligible to vote.

The Obamastration may have succeeded in creating a Tarrant County district that leans D, but I wouldn't count on that D being hispanic for quite a while.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I think they redrew BOTH Congressional and State level districts...

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Even if Bush were president, the courts would have ruled this way. There is a reason why the Southern states are STILL under the VRA of 1965. Districts should be compact as possible, given density stats, and neighborhoods should remain intact.

You do bring up a point, however. Population alone means nothing if you are either ineligible to vote OR you belong to the group with the LOWEST voter turnout of eligible voters. Numbers mean nothing without votes, and without the donations to get out the message. As more Hispanics are born here, not migrating here, they will pull away from the racial radicalism that the Alonzos, Garcias, Medranos and such are hoping will keep them in power.

Also, the birthrates among Hispanic Americans falls within the rest of America within one generation, so this "takeover" they talk about won't actually occur, unless whites and blacks flee the area and leave them as a clear majority.

Like I tell my students, get your own degree, your own business and then YOU run for office.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Correct. Three maps have been redrawn by the Court:  State Senate, State House, and U.S. Congress

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

@ Guesty McG- Your implicaton that the court is stacked with Obama appointees made me go look

Now, if I have the correct court, the D of C District Court, I looked a the list of district judges. 4 were appointed under G W Bush, including one who also serves on the FISC (special set of judges to give "special" Patriot Act search warrants and such).5 were appointed under Clinton, but one of those was first appointed by Reagan to another federal level post as an associate judge...

4 have been appointed by Obama.

So, while --if you go with the idea that presidents choose judges based on politics, then yes, this is a Democratic  leaning court. ( 9 to 4) BUT it is not Obama who put the majority of them there....

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