Skip to comments.TX Redistricting Effects Could Be Short-Lived
Posted on 11/08/2004 5:41:51 AM PST by Theodore R.
Redistricting effects could be short-lived Texas may not have heard last of ousted Democrats
AUSTIN (AP) Republicans control the state's congressional delegation for the first time in modern history, but the freshly elected lawmakers might not have time to get too comfortable.
In fact, they could wind up campaigning in new districts in two years, or even sooner.
Redistricting shake-ups Freshman members of Congress elected Tuesday:
Louie Gohmert, Republican.
Ted Poe, Republican
Mike McCaul, Republican
Mike Conaway, Republican
Kenny Marchant, Republican
Al Green, Democrat
Henry Cuellar, Democrat
Democrats ousted under new map:
The GOP-leaning district map, engineered by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and adopted by the state Legislature last year, is still making its way through the courts. It could take years for the litigation to be settled. The remapping resulted in the loss of seven Democratic incumbents, including longtime Congressmen Charlie Stenholm and Martin Frost.
"We are left with the possibility that the seats will be changed and we'll see the same guys running again for their old seats," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citi zens for Responsibility and Ethics in Wash ington. "I wouldn't yet count Martin Frost and Charles Stenholm out, and I don't think these folks should get too comfortable."
The new map was approved by a three-judge federal panel last year, but the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to the federal panel last month for reconsideration in light of a ruling in another redistricting case.
Gerry Hebert, an attorney for Democrats who are challenging the map, said he's hoping for special elections for the seats next November a year into their two-year terms under the previous Democrat-friendly map.
Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and redistricting expert, said he expects the federal district court in Texas will uphold the map. Then Democrats would appeal again to the Supreme Court. If the map is ultimately ruled against in the courts, the Legislature would get the opportunity to redraw the district lines again to make them less partisan.
"My guess is that it's unlikely that within a year there will be new elections, but there's a chance under a new map in two years," Persily said.
But, he noted, the Texas Legislature is still ruled by Republicans.
And, the whole thing could end up in lawsuits again if all sides aren't satisfied.
The Texas Attorney General's office, which defended the new map in court, predicts that the three-judge panel and U.S. Supreme Court would uphold it.
Under the new map in use now, Republicans won 21 of Texas' 32 House seats on Election Day. Democrats do not hold a single statewide office and are the minority in the Legislature. The state will send seven freshmen to Congress in January, five of them Republicans.
DeLay's redistricting plan triggered two walkouts last year by state Democratic legislators who hoped to kill the plan by preventing the quorum needed to pass it. DeLay used the Federal Aviation Administration to help track down the lawmakers, a move that later landed him in trouble with the House ethics committee.
DeLay, meanwhile, has other legal concerns connected to his redistricting effort.
An ongoing Travis County grand jury investigation is continuing into part of an aggressive scheme he engineered to put more Republicans in office. Three close associates of DeLay's have been indicted for their roles in alleged use of illegal corporate money in political campaigns in state races. The candidates who received the money in question helped attain a Republican majority in the state Legislature, which, in turn, approved the GOP-favoring congressional map at the heart of the issue.
More indictments are possible in the investigation.
"That doesn't reflect back on these new members of Congress," Sloan said, "but it's all about how the districts were made, why they (the Republican freshmen) owe their jobs to DeLay and why you won't see them voting against him."
Let them run back to New Mexico and STAY
Ironically, the fact that Chet Edwards held his seat in a district that was expected to shift to the GOP undermines the Democrat argument that the redistricting was too radical.
What is it they don't understand that Republicans had more votes but fewer congressmen; Dems had fewer votes and more congressmen.
I live in that district and was pretty upset by the whole thing. One of the most confusing things I saw was the people with Bush stickers on one side of their bumper with a Chet Edwards sticker on the other. Go figure.
...What is it they don't understand that Republicans had more votes but fewer congressmen; Dems had fewer votes and more congressmen...
These are desperate times for Democrats in Texas. Losing power after a hundred and thirty some odd years is one bitter pill for them to swallow. All they have left is the border and Austin.
IMO, Edwards' win was more the result of fallout...on Arlene, unfortunately, from the Walls' cross-dressing scandal. For some reason (& I don't know the whole story) she was implicated in outing Walls. Probably wrongly, but the money in Johnson County turned to Edwards. (Various leaders turned on Arlene)
Besides, I wouldn't have cared if ALL RATS LOST. Let 'em caterwaul.
If the Republicans field a strong candidate in 2006, and the RNC pumps enough money into the campaign, Edwards can be knocked off. Or, so I hope...
The new map will not be overturned. The Supreme Court asked the Court of Appeals to reconsider, taking into account the recent Vieth decision. In Vieth, there were five votes for that particular case being nonjusticiable, so the Supreme Court didn't get to the merits. Given that the Texas case did get to the merits, Vieth would not be grounds to reverse. At most it could mean that the appeals court shouldn't have even gotten to the merits, which in any event would uphold the new map.
"If the Republicans field a strong candidate in 2006, and the RNC pumps enough money into the campaign, Edwards can be knocked off. Or, so I hope..."
But now there are 11 Democrat Congressmen who don't want the lines redrawn because they may lose some of the minorities who were squeezed into their new districts.
Democrats ousted under new map:
Do Aggies ever grow up? I think the university encourages their inferiority siege mentality in order to keep them contributing until death.
They don't have a clue that no one cares where you went to college, and that most UT students view A&M no differently than Rice, SMU, Tech, Baylor or any other college.
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