Texas Redistricting Shows Importance of Voting Rights Act

(cross posted at The Agonist, Burnt Orange Report, DailyKos, Just Another Blog)

Hours ago, the Unites States Supreme Court released there ruling in the Texas Redistricting case. It was a strong statement in support of hundreds of thousands of voters in the most diverse parts of the state.

In a time were less Texans are insured, education is failing, and the culture of corruption is sweeping our nation, it is troubling to have the court rule FOR an incumbent protection plan. With no test in place and no restrictions, state legislatures can legally choose to ignore the plight of children and seniors, teachers and doctors, veterans and first responders, and waste time by constantly changing the boundaries of a political district.

The High Court made it clear that political gerrymandering is legal and acceptable as long as voters have their rights protected.  The court was troubled by the simple fact that in Congressional District 23 over 100,000 Latino voters were thrown into a new district to protect the incumbent Republican and weaken the voting power of the minority.

Currently the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is in jeopardy and the House of Representatives has refused to protect the civil rights of every American.

Today's decision shows the importance of this law by requiring that people have an equal say on who governs them. It is imperative for our representatives reauthorize the Voting Rights Act and protect the vote of every Texan.

Instead elected Republican's like John Carter R-Round Rock says it should be a requirement for us to go back to oppressive laws of the segregated south by requiring literacy tests before people vote. What's next, a poll tax?

Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) has made it clear that he will be running for House Judiciary chair. This is the committee that will interpret and implement the Voting Rights Act  even though he has stood in firm opposition to the one person one vote philosophy upheld by the Supreme Court.

Now with serious opposition in one of Texas' four redistricted areas, Smith has decided to play it both ways by voting for VRA in committee and planning to vote against it on the floor.

The Supreme Court made it clear today, with out the Voting Rights Act the voice of 100,000's of Hispanics in south Texas would be silenced every November.  Imagine the perilous affects if Congress refuses to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act? This is a risk we cannot take. Contact your elected officials today and tell them to vote FOR the Sensenbrenner bill which has garnered 152 co-sponsors, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and every member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

Make sure to vote for John Courage and Mary Beth Harrell as MapChangers so they can defeat Smith and Carter.

Tags: John Carter, John Courage, Lamar Smith, Mary Beth Harrell, Redistricting, SCOTUS, Voting Rights Act (all tags)

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