Supreme Court rules Texas district invalid
SCOTUSblog on the Texas gerrymandering ruling that the Supreme Court handed down today:
The Supreme Court, splintering widely, on Wednesday found an insufficient claim of partisan gerrymandering in the Texas congressional redistricting. It also rejected a challenge to mid-decade congressional redistricting. It did not rule on whether all partisan gerrymander claims are beyond judicial review. The Court is split on that issue, and the division remains. It found the state's new District 23 invalid under the federal Voting Rights Act. District 24 was upheld against a Voting Rights Act challenge. The opinion can be found here.
The voting rights coalition eked out a small victory in getting a rotten borough invalidated. Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts didn't even want to give them that much.
The Court voted 7-2 that legislators can redistrict as often as they want, not just once a decade.
The Constitution says states must adjust their congressional district lines every 10 years to account for population shifts. In Texas the boundaries were redrawn twice after the 2000 census, first by a court, then by state lawmakers in a second round promoted by DeLay after Republicans took control.
That was acceptable, the justices said. [WaPo]
The Court also left open the possibility of adjudicating partisan gerrymandering disputes in the future.