chapter 5 - Chapter 5 Central character in the Republican...

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Chapter 5 Central character in the Republican drive for congressional redistricting was Congressman Tom DeLay. His goal: elect Texas congressional delegation dominated by Republicans. o Due to the ultimate success of the strategy employed to achieve this goal it’s treated as the “Republican Strategy”. Even though G.W. Bush had won presidential election in 2000 and had overwhelmingly carried Texas: o 2000 election year not good for Republican effort in Texas to gain more U.S. Congressional seats. o All 17 Democratic incumbents won reelection. o Embarrassment for DeLay, couldn’t even deliver more seats in his home state. o DeLay determined to rectify this situation. 2002, DeLay’s goal: elect enough of the “right” Republicans to the Texas House to ensure his friend, Tom Craddick, would become Speaker of the House. o By reaching this goal: last roadblock to congressional redistricting would be removed. o With majority achieved in both houses of TX legislature, DeLay’s focus; pass a redistricting plan that would maximize the number of Democratic seats that could be eliminated. o Redistricting map aggressively targeted all 10 Texas Anglo Democrats in the U.S. House. o Only constraint on DeLay’s plan: Voting Rights Act o However, DeLay aided by U.S. Dept. of Justice in 2003, which was under the leadership of Attorney General, John Ashcroft. o DeLay was not about to leave redrawing of TX congressional districts to Texas lawmakers. Strategy used by Republicans to justify redistricting in 2003: o TX congressional delegation should reflect support shown by TX voters for President Bush, rather than the Democratic majority currently in place. o Democratic congressional delegation voting against Bush-sponsored legislation. Not a good reflection or representation of state that overwhelmingly voted for Bush. o 2 nd Rationale for redistricting: Political Fairness. 2003, Republicans held all federal and state offices elected statewide. Therefore, unfair to allow Democrats to continue to hold majority of U.S. Congressional delegation from TX. o Republicans claimed: Democratic incumbents for U.S. House had been able to win reelection due to Democratic gerrymandered district lines drawn in 1991 and then maintained by federal-court in 2001. o In fairness Republicans should be entitled to undo the Democratic gerrymandered district lines. o 3 rd rationale: Republicans pointed out congressional district lines in 2003 result of court-adopted plan and was the current state legislature’s duty to replace court’s plan with its own. Historically, gerrymander evident if bizarre or irregularly shaped districts. 1
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o Shape of district key factor for courts in identifying election districts drawn to give unfair advantage to one political group over another. o
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2010 for the course GOV 335N taught by Professor Karch during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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chapter 5 - Chapter 5 Central character in the Republican...

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