Monday, February 27, 2006

Drawing DeLay back onto the map?

Jeffrey Toobin has an interesting article in the New Yorker about the upcoming challenge to the redistricting of Texas:
Still, there is one way for the Court to stake out a middle ground. Instead of striking down all partisan gerrymandering, thus sowing chaos in dozens of states shortly before the 2006 congressional elections, the Justices could simply say that a politically inspired mid-decade redistricting violates the Constitution. “We’re simply asking for them to go back to the map the courts approved in 2001, and that Texas used in the 2002 election,” Sam Hirsch, another lawyer for the Democrats, says. “It takes care of the worst of the problems, it’s neat and simple, and there’s no need for the courts themselves to draw district lines.”

This option, which would be a major loss for the Texas Republican Party, might mean a win for Tom DeLay. Instead of running against DeLay, Nick Lampson could run in the district where he won as an incumbent in 2002. “That could certainly happen,” Lampson told me. “I will have to make that decision when it actually becomes a reality.” DeLay, in turn, would lose a well-financed challenger in the new district, and return to his old district, which was more Republican anyway. (DeLay declined to comment.)


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