Redistricting, LULAC v. Perry, speculation

I've just slogged through LULAC v. Perry again. Sigh. Redistricting law is a murky cesspool of shifting standards which the Supreme Court decides to "clarify" every 10 years. At least Congress didn't decide to change any of the text of the Voting Rights Act, because then it would really be fun.

A few thoughts:

1. Kennedy definitely seems to want Webb County put back together.

2. Kennedy definitely seems to have a problem with Doggett's district. It seems to me that he suggests that having Austin and the border in the same district isn't going to fly with his swing vote.

3. Stevens wins the award for funniest line:

This is a suit in which it is perfectly clear that judicially manageable standards enable us to decide the merits of a statewide challenge to a political gerrymander. Applying such standards...
Perfectly clear? Please articulate what those standards are, Justice Stevens, instead of just telling us that there are standards and that you're applying them.

4. The left-leaning justices were footnoted several different times that Justice Scalia had called sec 5 VRA compliance a compelling state interest. That heightens the scrutiny that they can use in future cases.

If I'm right, then the court will look for a plan that a) puts Webb County back together, b) makes CD25 (Doggett) more compact, c) protects incumbents, d) alters as few districts as possible.

Analyzing the state's plan in detail might have made it look like I really thought that was a likely plan for the court to adopt. Actually, I just happened to have free time, and I'm a redistricting junkie. I think I just missed spending hours of free time on Redviewer.

Most likely scenario: the court starts from scratch and draws their own map. Second most likely scenarios: state's plan or LULAC Plan B. But that's just conjecture on my part. I really have no clue as to what the court will decide to do in regards to ordering a new primary or not, but my operating assumption would be that we get new primaries.

Posted by Evan @ 07/18/06 09:29 AM


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