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Texas Redistricting Shows Importance of Voting Rights Act

by: Matt

Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 03:30 PM CDT

(Today's case would not have happened without the Voting Rights Act. Matt does a good job at pointing out the connections and why we must fight Texas Republicans that stand in the way of getting the VRA renewed. - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)

(cross posted at The Agonist, MyDD, DailyKos)

Hours ago, the Unites States Supreme Court released their ruling in the Texas Redistricting case. It was a strong statement in support of hundreds of thousands of voters in the most diverse parts of the state.

In a time where less Texans are insured, education is failing, and the culture of corruption is sweeping our nation, it is troubling to have the court rule FOR an incumbent protection plan. With no test in place and no restrictions, state legislatures can legally choose to ignore the plight of children and seniors, teachers and doctors, veterans and first responders, and waste time by constantly changing the boundaries of a political district.

The High Court made it clear that political gerrymandering is legal and acceptable as long as voters have their rights protected.  The court was troubled by the simple fact that in Congressional District 23 over 100,000 Latino voters were thrown into a new district to protect the incumbent Republican and weaken the voting power of the minority.

Currently the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is in jeopardy and the House of Representatives has refused to protect the civil rights of every American.


Today's decision shows the importance of this law by requiring that people have an equal say on who governs them. It is imperative for our representatives to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act and protect the vote of every Texan.

Instead elected Republican's like John Carter R-Round Rock says it should be a requirement for us to go back to oppressive laws of the segregated south by requiring literacy tests before people vote. What's next, a poll tax?

Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) has made it clear that he will be running for House Judiciary chair. This is the committee that will interpret and implement the Voting Rights Act  even though he has stood in firm opposition to the one person, one vote philosophy upheld by the Supreme Court.

Now with serious opposition in one of Texas' four redistricted areas, Smith has decided to play it both ways by voting for VRA in committee and planning to vote against it on the floor.

The Supreme Court made it clear today, without the Voting Rights Act the voice of hundreds of thousands of Hispanics in south Texas would be silenced every November.  Imagine the perilous affects if Congress refuses to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act? This is a risk we cannot take. Contact your elected officials today and tell them to vote FOR the Sensenbrenner bill which has garnered 152 co-sponsors, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and every member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

Make sure to vote for John Courage and Mary Beth Harrell as MapChangers so they can defeat Smith and Carter.

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Rick Bolanos statement on SCOTUS ruling (5.00 / 1)
[Rick Bolanos is running for Congress in the 23rd district against Henry Bonilla, consider giving him your support]

A tremendously large number of Texans were disenfranchised by the Republican redistricting of the Congressional map. Today’s Supreme Court decision will allow many of those Texans, and particularly a large number of Hispanics who were cut out of the 23rd Congressional District, to again exercise their inalienable right to vote as guaranteed by the constitution of the United States. Furthermore, those disenfranchised voters will have a strong voice in deciding who they want to represent them in Washington.

This is a tremendous victory for those Hispanic voters whose Voting Rights were trampled by the partisan agenda of Tom DeLay, Henry Bonilla, Governor Rick Perry, Republican legislative leaders and the political appointees of the Bush Administration Justice Department, all of whom argued in support of an egregious plan that violated Hispanic voting rights in a deliberate and blatant manner. It was morally reprehensible to violate the Voting Rights of those Hispanics in an obvious attempt to ensure Henry Bonilla’s re-election. The actions of those persons was a repugnant and shameful act that is indicative of the crisis of corruption that has left our great nation with leaders more interested in accumulating power and economic gain, rather than enacting responsible public policy that responds to the needs of our American populace.

In a recent interview Mr. Bonilla, whose voting record has been very anti-hispanic, and who has been feeling very "safe" in his gerrymandered district, was asked if he was forgetting that more than fifty per cent of his constituents were Hispanic. Mr. Bonilla responded by saying "it doesn't matter they don't vote." It is my personal belief that this statement is going to come back to haunt the incumbent.

A three judge panel will now decide how to proceed to re-enfranchise those voters by redrawing the lines of the gerrymandered 23rd congressional district.  In spite of the furtive attempts by Mr. Bonilla and his cohorts to violate the constitutional rights of our nation, I will continue my campaign to give all the voters of the 23rd congressional district the type of ethical, fervent and passionate representation that they have so long been denied and that they so dearly deserve. I want to personally thank LULAC for their relentless pursuit of justice for those Hispanics who were oppressed by the misguided, avaricious actions of the present administration.


See comment below (0.00 / 0)
Meant to post as reply. Need coffee.

[ Parent ]
Rick needs some blog love (0.00 / 0)
progressivegrannie is about the only blogger to ever give any coverage to Rick Bolanos but if we couldn't get a decorated veteran, teacher, MBA, football coach who runs a youth ministry elected in Texas before, fixing TX-23 should make this one even more viable.

In all the virtual ink spilled on the SCOTUS ruling, Rick didn't even get his name mentioned until his press release went out. In 2008, Cuellar, Raymond etc may be the TX-23 candidate, but right now, Rick's the candidate, and he's a good one. Let's show him some blog lovin.

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