US Supreme Court Stops Judicial Theft of Texas' Elections - Stay Request by Attorney General Greg Abbott Granted
The US Supreme Court has granted a stay requested by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry along with other state officials. The stay blocks Texas from using the maps drawn by the lower Federal Court led by Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriquez. Judge Jerry Smith, the third member of the lower court had dissented with the other two judges.
In a conversation with Gen. Abbott's staff this evening I was told, "No election in Texas will be held under these maps." The Supreme Court stay supports the argument by Gen. Abbott that the district court's interim plans wholly disregarded the will of the Texas Legislature. The legislature is required by the US Constitution to re-draw new district lines every ten years based upon the most recent census.
In a statement released this evening, Gen. Abbott said, "The Texas Attorney General's Office is committed to protecting the integrity of Texas' elections by ensuring they are conducted based on legally constructed redistricting maps, and the Supreme Court's decision today in an important step in that direction." He continued, "We look forward to presenting oral arguments to the Supreme Court on January 9, 2012. We understand the need for speed for Texas voters as well as those who wish to run for office, and will work to resolve this matter as quickly as possible."
Texas is one of nine states that are covered by part of a 1965 Voting Rights Act that requires places with a history of racial discrimination to get federal approval before changing their district maps or voting laws.
Texas' attorney Paul Clement said the lower court should have deferred to the state legislature. He noted that Judge Smith called the new map "a runaway plan that imposes an extreme redistricting scheme," in his dissent of the ruling.
So, for now, it looks like we are back to the maps drawn by the Republican led Texas Legislature - as required by the US Constitution.
Thank you General Abbott for your hard work defending Texas against these activist judges.
In a statement just released by the Republican Party of Texas, Chairman Steve Munisteri said, "The Supreme Court's action in staying the recently drawn maps issued by the three-judge federal district court panel in San Antonio, is a clear indication that the concerns we raised last week concerning the panel's actions, have merit. It has been the RPT's position that the majority of the district court panel exceeded their judicial authority and attempted to usurp the rightful duties of the Texas State Legislature. It has also been our position that the maps approved by the Legislature did comply with the Voting Rights' Act and did protect the interests of minority voters, particularly the interests of Hispanic voters in Texas. I applaud Attorney General Greg Abbott and his legal team for their quick action in appealing this matter to the U.S. Supreme Court and congratulate them for winning the first round before that court in obtaining a stay on the panel's maps. We are hopeful that the Attorney General and his team will be able to demonstrate to the Court the necessity of throwing out the panel's maps. Further, we hope the Court will either restore the original district lines of the Legislature, or at the very least, make revisions to the district court panel's maps which are more in tune with the legislative intent. We do not have information at this time as to what effect, if any, the Court's stay will have on the filing period or primary dates. As soon as we receive further instruction from the Court, we will advise the public."