SCOTUS Lets Gerrymandering Slide
Only one of 11 house and congressional districts marked for redrawing
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday tossed out a lower court ruling that Texas lawmakers drew state House and congressional maps to suppress black and Latino voters, citing the evidence as "plainly insufficient." Justices upheld 10 of the 11 challenged districts (including Austin Rep. Lloyd Doggett's Congressional District 35), leaving only Fort Worth's House District 90, currently occupied by Ramon Romero, to be deemed racially gerrymandered.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the minority's dissent, calling the maps specifically designed to minimize the political will of minority voters: "This disregard of both precedent and fact comes at serious costs to our democracy. It means that, after years of litigation and undeniable proof of intentional discrimination, minority voters in Texas – despite constituting a majority of the population within the State – will continue to be underrepresented in the political process." State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, a named co-plaintiff in the case, chided the conservative-leaning high court "chose to ignore the voter suppression suffered by millions of Texans over the past seven years."