redistricting Houston

White House to help protect GOP-drawn Texas map
— reported by the Houston Chronicle

The Supreme Court today granted the Bush administration’s request to join Texas in defending a Republican-friendly congressional map engineered by Rep. Tom DeLay.

The administration will share time with Texas lawyers on March 1, when the court holds a special afternoon session to consider four appeals that stem from the bitter dispute over Texas congressional district boundaries.

Justices are considering whether the Republican-controlled Legislature acted purely for partisan gain in 2003 when it threw out district boundaries that had been used in the 2002 elections, and whether the new map violated a federal voting rights law.

The Justice Department approved the plan although staff lawyers concluded that it diluted minority voting rights. The Bush administration asked the high court last week for permission to participate in the case, supporting Texas.

The redistricting helped Republicans win 21 of Texas’ 32 seats in Congress in the last election, up from 15.


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