CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THE THE SCOTUS RULING ON TX REDISTRICTING?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Basically, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the three-judge court in Texas to redraw congressional and legislative lines using Texas’s own plans as a starting point. The Court held that the three-judge court should deviate from Texas’s maps only if it is likely that parts of the maps violate the Voting Rights Act.

“On the contrary,” the opinion continued, “the state plan serves as a starting point for the district court. It provides important guidance that helps ensure that the district court appropriately confines itself to drawing interim maps that comply with the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, without displacing legitimate state policy judgments with the court’s own preferences.”

SCOTUS — cited its 1996 decision in Lopez v. Monterey County — said that a District Court may not adopt “as its own” a state plan that needs Washington clearance but does not yet have it. However, the precedents “say nothing about whether a district court may take guidance from the lawful policies incorporated in such a plan for aid in drawing an interim map.” Turning then to its 1982 decision in Upham v. Seamon, the Court said that a district court has a duty to “defer to the unobjectionable aspects of a state’s plan” even in a situation where clearance was sought but had been denied.

The Justices flatly rejected the declaration of the San Antonio court that it was “not required to give any deference” to what the legislature had crafted. The lower court was wrong, the Court added, “to the extent” it “exceeded its mission to draw interim maps that do not violate the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act, and substituted its own concept of ‘the collective public good’ for the Texas legislature’s determination of which policies serve ‘the interests of the citizens of Texas.’ ”Further, the Court wrote, “because the District Court here had the benefit of a recently enacted plan to assist it, the court had neither the need nor the license to cast aside that vital aid.”

As far as Section 5, requiring some states and local governments to get Washington legal approval before they may put into effect any change in their election laws; Justice Thomas spoke for himself citing his belief that it is unconstitutional.

What does this mean? The opinion favors the state’s maps. This decision only affects the interim maps and this is not necessarily a defeat for the redistricting plaintiffs.

SUBSCRIBE to The Hispanic Blog and stay on top of the latest Latino news, politics and entertainment!

Don’t be shy SUBSCRIBE – COMMENT – LIKE ME -CIRCLE ME AND FOLLOW ME

If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me at thehispanicblog@gmail.com.

God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog

HOW DID THE HEARING IN TEXAS REDISTRICTING BEGIN 2012?

THE HISPANIC BLOG BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

The Supreme Court 2011

The Supreme Court 2011 (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey) License Creative Commons Attribution

The Supreme Court was sharply divided about what to do and reaching for options to deal with a very messy situation.

One option that got a lot of play and seemed attractive to justices on both sides of the court’s ideological spectrum was the possibility of just punting and letting the DC court issue its preclearance ruling, presumably some time in February. The suggestion came first from Justice Alito and later in the argument Justice Sotomayor asked directly, “What’s our absolute drop dead date?”  (Answer: maybe June)  Justice Kagan also raised the possibility.

Another option which came up was the possibility of shifting the burden to the State of Texas for showing that it had a likelihood of success on parts of the map that had been challenged in the section 5 case – a suggestion made by Justice Kagan.

Justice Kennedy also suggested that maybe the appropriate route might be to say that the San Antonio court should limit itself to section 2, equal protection, and other constitutional inquiries while leaving section 5 issues to the DC court (as opposed to having the San Antonio court guess whether there would be problems with the state’s maps).   But the retort to that was that it would sidestep section 5, even if just on an interim basis, and based on the questioning from other justices to the lawyers, it did not appear there would be a broad consensus for that option.

One thing that the justices seemed not very inclined to do was get into the messy business of telling the San Antonio (or future district courts) the details of what it should do on things like coalition districts and population deviations.

The other major thing that did not come up, except for a very brief allusion by the state’s lawyers, was the constitutionality of section 5. However, while the court did not seem interested in taking the issue head on, Justice Kennedy did wrestle publicly on a couple of occasions with how you reconcile the differing treatment of states.

As for the alignment on the court, it largely fell along familiar lines- with the more liberal justices (Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer, and Ginsburg) having sharp questions about the state’s position and more conservative justices (Scalia, Alito, Roberts, Kennedy) being more skeptical of the plaintiff’s defense of the interim maps, though to differing degrees. (Justice Thomas did not ask any question but given his dissent in NAMUDNO, it can be presumed that he is not very sympathetic to arguments that section 5 prevents use of the state’s maps.)

Let’s just say things keep getting interesting.

Read More: http://txredistricting.org

SUBSCRIBE to The Hispanic Blog and stay on top of the latest Latino news, politics and entertainment!

Don’t be shy SUBSCRIBE – COMMENT – LIKE ME -CIRCLE ME AND FOLLOW ME

If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me at thehispanicblog@gmail.com.

God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog