The Sordid Business of Redistricting by Race

Texas recently won a major battle in its congressional and state-legislative redistricting fight. On January 20, the Supreme Court threw out interim maps that had been created out of whole cloth by a three-judge panel in San Antonio, and that, in addition to heavily favoring Democrats, basically ignored the plans drawn by the state legislature. The war goes on in federal court in Texas and the District of Columbia, but the decision was a defeat not only for the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and other seekers of racial spoils, but also for Eric Holder’s Justice Department.

This case demonstrates the absurdity and fundamental unfairness of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the supposedly temporary, emergency five-year provision passed in 1965, as well as the way Section 2 of the VRA has been perverted by so-called civil-rights organizations, DOJ, and the courts. They have used the law to make racial gerrymandering the dominating factor in redistricting, and “proportional representation” almost a legal mandate for states that want to avoid expensive and protracted litigation.

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