Friday, December 02, 2005

Washington Post Exposes Illegal Texas Redistricting

We have yet another example of how the Republicans are crossing the line away from democracy:

Justice Department lawyers concluded that the landmark Texas congressional redistricting plan spearheaded by Rep. Tom DeLay (R) violated the Voting Rights Act, according to a previously undisclosed memo obtained by The Washington Post. But senior officials overruled them and approved the plan.

The memo, unanimously endorsed by six lawyers and two analysts in the department’s voting section, said the redistricting plan illegally diluted black and Hispanic voting power in two congressional districts. It also said the plan eliminated several other districts in which minorities had a substantial, though not necessarily decisive, influence in elections.

Finding that these acts are illegal, how did they respond?

But the Texas legislature proceeded with the new map anyway because it would maximize the number of Republican federal lawmakers in the state, the memo said. The redistricting was approved in 2003, and Texas Republicans gained five seats in the U.S. House in the 2004 elections, solidifying GOP control of Congress.

The remarkable thing about this story isn’t the anti-democratic actions of the Republicans. We knew they were capable of this. The remarkable thing is that this is an example of investigative journalism revealing what is wrong. If only the media hadn’t been asleep during Bush’s first term.


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