Monday, October 18, 2004

Redistricting Reconsidered

From CNN:

The Supreme Court ordered Monday further consideration of a challenge by Democrats and minority groups to a controversial Republican-backed congressional redistricting plan in Texas.

The justices in a brief order granted an appeal by those challenging the plan and set aside a ruling by a federal three-judge panel in January that upheld the bitterly contested map.

The justices ordered further consideration by the federal panel in view of their ruling in April that upheld a Pennsylvania redistricting case. They did not elaborate further.

Those challenging the redistricting plan, which had been strongly supported by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, argued it was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and that it diluted the voting strength of minorities.

They challenged whether redistricting plans can be redrawn in the middle of the decade to maximize partisan advantage. Congressional districts usually are drawn once, early in the decade, right after the release of new U.S. Census data.

This provides a small glimmer of hope that DeLay’s plot could be squashed. A very small glimmer, but we’ll take what we can get.