Horses Stolen! Barn Door Confirmed Unlocked!
Long suppressed, Department of Justice memorandum recommended that the re-redistricting map forced upon the Legislature by Tom DeLay and his cronies should be rejected, because it did not sufficiently protect the rights of minority Texans
The eight career Civil Rights staffers who prepared the analysis were not only overruled by Bush administration political appointees, their Dec. 12, 2003, "Recommendation Memorandum" was subjected to an internal gag order. Despite suspicions about its contents, the memo was unavailable until the Post obtained a copy last week.
Redistricting maps rejected by the DOJ cannot be appealed; the approval meant that Democratic and minority plaintiffs went to federal court under a much higher standard of proof to persuade the court that the map was biased against minorities. They lost, and the map was approved and installed for the 2004 elections, although a voting rights case against it is still pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Since the DOJ memorandum relies heavily on the court's 2003 Georgia v. Ashcroft decision especially the doctrine of "totality of circumstances" in its analysis of the maps, its contents may have some weight in determining whether the court might take up the appeal. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is defending the DOJ's action, saying the matter has been settled in court, but lead plaintiffs' attorney Gerald Hebert told Quorum Report, "There is compelling evidence that this violates the law. You can't just say, 'This is my decision, go ahead and violate the law.'"
Of course, the Supremes didn't have a problem with such niceties in Bush v. Gore, and it remains to be seen whether Travis Co. DA Ronnie Earle will have any better luck in prosecuting the corporate money shell game established by DeLay and his cronies at Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee which effectively seized the Lege and made possible the entire re-redistricting fiasco in the first place.