WWH – The above Headline was not written by MIKE NORMAN or anyone at the star-telegram . Actually we aren’t really sure who wrote it, (Although Winston has been smiling a lot lately.) or how it relates to the main article.
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As far as we know this mockery of the judicial system. This plague under a black robe, may like kittens, and may never have bitten the heads off of any! And his owning a two headed blow up Koch Brother doll? Just rumor! But did you hear about his Wife?
BY MIKE NORMAN,star-telegram – Voting Rights Act provision may hang by a thread
Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth can make a good argument to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the redrawn lines of her Senate District 10 harm minority voters and thus violate the federal Voting Rights Act.
Her problem is that she may not get to make it, at least not in that court.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked the D.C. court to declare that all redistricting plans drawn by the Legislature this year meet the requirements of the Voting Rights Act. He wants the court to grant the pre-clearance required by Section 5 of the act so the new alignments can be used for next year’s elections.
But tucked away inside Abbott’s filing is a sort-of King’s X: “This complaint is filed under the assumption that Section 5 complies with the United States Constitution.”
That’s not just typical lawyer mumbo-jumbo. Abbott said the state “reserves all applicable legal claims” in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in an Austin case that skirted the edge of declaring the pre-clearance requirement unconstitutional. Two other cases on the same question are pending before the D.C. court.
Even if that section of the law is struck down, Davis could go elsewhere to make her case that the Legislature’s plan violates the rights of minority voters in her district.
It’s as plain as the lines on the map that she’s right. The redrawn Senate map splits minority neighborhoods in east and southeast Fort Worth away from District 10 and puts them in a predominantly rural district that stretches south to Waco. Other minority precincts previously represented by Davis are moved to one dominated by Denton County.
She’s prepared to argue the unfairness, but her fight may not be as fast and clean as a quick trip to the D.C. court.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act pits the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870 to give voting rights to former slaves, against the 10th Amendment’s guarantee of state sovereignty.
Under the 10th Amendment, states should be free to determine, within constitutional limits, the qualifications of voters in state, county and municipal elections and to set up the guidelines for those elections.
Congress restricted state authority with the Voting Rights Act’s pre-clearance requirements, which it adopted in 1965. The Supreme Court agreed a year later, but only because it judged such extreme action to be a necessary and balanced response to the violence, intimidation, literacy tests and poll taxes that discouraged minority voting in some states.
Congress reauthorized the act in 1970, 1975, 1982 and 2006, the last extension for 25 years. The pre-clearance provision applies only in states where previous violations of the 15th Amendment were judged to have been particularly egregious. That includes Texas. Read more…