Supreme Court unanimously tosses judicial-drawn redistricting in Texas

posted at 12:10 pm on January 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Democrats in Texas lost a big battle at the Supreme Court today, and lost it big, too.  Democrats sued to stop a legislative effort at redistricting that was controlled by Republicans in the state, and had won at the district court level.  The judge in the case selected new maps that favored Democrats in the effort to create the four new House districts allocated to the state through reapportionment following last year’s census.  Texas Republicans challenged that decision — and won a unanimous decision that now demands a resolution of the underlying lawsuit quickly:

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in a Texas political dispute, rejecting judge-drawn election maps favoring minority candidates and Democrats in the 2012 congressional and state legislature elections.

In its first ruling on political boundary-drawing based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the high court unanimously set aside the interim maps created by federal district court judges in San Antonio. …

The Supreme Court ruled that the judges appeared to have unnecessarily ignored the state’s plans in drawing certain districts and those maps can at least be used as a starting point.

“Some aspects of the district court’s plans seem to pay adequate attention to the state’s policies, others do not and the propriety of still others is unclear,” the court held in its opinion.

The court declined to order the lower court to adopt the maps drawn by the legislators, however.  That means that Texas doesn’t have a map for this year’s Congressional election while the lower court considers the lawsuit from Democrats.  The decision puts a lot of pressure on the court to make a decision soon, so that Texas can start the political process of choosing its candidates not just for the new districts but for all 36 Texas districts in the House, as well as for the state legislature.

Given that the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the judge’s ideas for redistricting and there won’t be much time left for the legislature to act, that means that the court’s best option is to tell Democrats that they lost the last several elections and have to live with the consequences.  Redistricting is a political process, not a judicial process, and the Court’s unanimous rejection of judicial intervention on the basis of an intrusion on legislative prerogative, at least to some extent, is a warning signal against judicial activism.


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Another unraveling of the radical, leftist Warren Court agenda and its obsession with race which is what prompted this whole judicial redistricting mess.

Smedley on January 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Woohooo, except now we will probably get or primary pushed back again. And, or split.

cozmo on January 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Given that the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the judge’s ideas for redistricting and there won’t be much time left for the legislature to act, that means that the court’s best option is to tell Democrats that they lost the last several elections and have to live with the consequences. Redistricting is a political process, not a judicial process, and the Court’s unanimous rejection of judicial intervention on the basis of an intrusion on legislative prerogative, at least to some extent, is a warning signal against judicial activism.

That’s one possible interpretation, but I think the Texas courts will somehow find a way to interpret it differently.

Socratease on January 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Unanimous? Unanimous? WTH?

jake-the-goose on January 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

2012 is quickly shaping up to be the year of Holder led DoJ SCOTUS smackdown. Obama is going to have to devote the entire State of the Union address to insulting and bullying SCOTUS at this rate.

NotCoach on January 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Elections have consequences!

Bob in VA on January 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Paging crr6.
Paging crr6
Come in crr6.

angryed on January 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Democrats, trying to undo the 2010 election since…..2010.

I continue to believe that Obama is the worst thing that ever happened to the Democrat party.

Mord on January 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

This is indeed good news for us here in TX!
L

letget on January 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

At least one branch of the federal government is sticking with the law of the land, The Constitution.

jukin3 on January 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

That’s the second 9-0 defeat the left has received recently.

Maybe the Mayans were right…

Washington Nearsider on January 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

OH WOW! GREAT!

KOOLAID2 on January 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Yes! I live in Texas and for years I have been stuck with Charlie Gonzales as my Congressman. I know this will do nothing for me, but it will for others in my area. They are already handing his seat off to Jaquin Castro, another even more Liberal Democrat…I guess he has the right of passage for the seat.

Asianeyes704 on January 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

isn’t it time for the pre-clearance part of the voting rights act to go away?

Dr. Demento on January 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The Democrats here won’t give up easily, but if the San Antonio judges screw around for very long, the unanimous SCOTUS ruling is effectively an invitation for the Republicans to come on back up to them for some swift justice that the Ds aren’t going to like.

A great day not only for Texas but for the other red states who have similar cases on their way to the Supreme Court.

TXUS on January 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM

2/3 of the Federal Judges in San Antonio were appointed by Bill Clinton.

Del Dolemonte on January 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Asianeyes704 on January 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I feel for ya’. I live in EBJ’s district, though for one election cycle, before DeLay got to tinkering, I was in Pete Sessions district. Fond memories.

cozmo on January 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

A unanimous court here is not 9-0. It was a panel of the nine, probably three.

platypus on January 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

9-0.

We’re being set up for the 5-4 upholding ObamaCares’ mandate.

“How can you say the court is playing politics? Look at all the conservative decisions we’ve made recently….”

BobMbx on January 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

isn’t it time for the pre-clearance part of the voting rights act to go away?

Dr. Demento on January 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

It should be a priority for the GOP to rescind the entire law.

Rebar on January 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Don’t fret Dems, you have had your way with redistricting in IL. IL voters keep rewarding your for the bang up job you are doing managing IL.

WashJeff on January 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

A unanimous court here is not 9-0. It was a panel of the nine, probably three.

platypus on January 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

No, it was all of them.

McDuck on January 20, 2012 at 12:37 PM

We’re being set up for the 5-4 upholding ObamaCares’ mandate.

“How can you say the court is playing politics? Look at all the conservative decisions we’ve made recently….”

BobMbx on January 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I want to call you crazy for writing that. But since it was the second thing I thought of, I cannot.

cozmo on January 20, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I feel for ya’. I live in EBJ’s district, though for one election cycle, before DeLay got to tinkering, I was in Pete Sessions district. Fond memories.

cozmo on January 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

My deepest sympathies. Eddie Bernice Johnson is one piece of work. Almost as bad as Sheila Jackson Lee who, thank God, is not my congressman. I got Culberson, one of the reasons I choose to vote in Houston.

TXUS on January 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Democrats in Texas lost a big battle at the Supreme Court today, and lost it big,

Of course liberals “lost” nothing in the Supreme Court. They never have.

They just didn’t GAIN another yet another re-write of the Constitution today.

They can “lose” ten of these cases, or a hundred, or a thousand in a row. Since they’re always the aggressors, they never have to retreat a single inch.

But eventually they’ll be given another concession against the Constitution – at least in part because some idiots have been conditioned to think they deserve it after all the “setbacks” they’ve suffered. And, as always, more ground will be gained by the anti-Constitutional forces. And the next day they’ll start pushing forward once again, from what they will once again portray as the starting line.

logis on January 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

A unanimous court here is not 9-0. It was a panel of the nine, probably three.

platypus on January 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

To add to my previous comment, the Supreme Court doesn’t do the panel thing. It’s very different from the circuit courts. At those courts, a three-judge panel is the norm unless the court is sitting en banc.

McDuck on January 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

A 9-0 decision. Very unusual in these days. This has me wondering on what kind of decision the court will make on ObamaCare.

SC.Charlie on January 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

9-0.

We’re being set up for the 5-4 upholding ObamaCares’ mandate.

“How can you say the court is playing politics? Look at all the conservative decisions we’ve made recently….”

BobMbx on January 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Exactly my first thought.
Remember..leftists, like RINO’s will give on the less important issues, but when BIG issues come up..fundamentally transforming issues come up, they will go with their well hidden ideology. When challenged on it, they can point to all those other votes they cast in favor the party line.
These past 2 votes give an ironclad argument for Sodamiester to not recuse.

Mimzey on January 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Courts should have no authority over district lines.

wildcat72 on January 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

O.T. Thank you all at Hot Air for the new password opportunity ..

wheels on January 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Three cheers for the Supreme Court!

Axion on January 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Looks like the fight in NC is going for the Republicans as well.
Judges refuse to delay NC primary

LoganSix on January 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Three cheers for the Supreme Court!

Axion on January 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Two cheers, they could have found for the state of Texas and let the new districts written by the legislature stand for this election cycle.

cozmo on January 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Yes Texas must endure the pain of once having been Southern Democrat.

aloysiusmiller on January 20, 2012 at 1:04 PM

TXUS on January 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

The Queen of Texas!

slickwillie2001 on January 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

We’re being set up for the 5-4 upholding ObamaCares’ mandate.

“How can you say the court is playing politics? Look at all the conservative decisions we’ve made recently….”

BobMbx on January 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Same thought crossed my mind…

dczombie on January 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Redistricting is a political process, not a judicial process, and the Court’s unanimous rejection of judicial intervention on the basis of an intrusion on legislative prerogative, at least to some extent, is a warning signal against judicial activism.

NOT to far-left-democrats. They believe they have to right to force their political ideology over the wishes of voters who don’t agree with and don’t want their system of governance when they are not getting their way.

TX-96 on January 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM

It was a 3-0 by the panel hearing the appeals. The three-judge San Antonio panel tossed the Legislature’s map, but one of the three judges were strong opposed to the map the two others drew up, pointing out that the two judges not only redrew lines in South Texas where there were concerns about Hispanic minority representation, they redrew lines in North Texas, where no such complaints had been made.

The two judges took it upon themselves to not only correct the problems the Democrats and their supporting special interest groups complained about, they tried to stack the deck in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and boost the Democrats’ election chances there as well. That’s why the got slapped down by the Supreme Court panel. Odds are they will be allowed to come back and do a new map that the high court would OK only if it just tinkers around the edges in the Austin/San Antonio/South Texas area, and the legislature can come back in either on a special session or in 2013 and take another crack at the map, again with just some minor tinkering in the South and South-Central Texas areas that were the focal point of the legal action.

jon1979 on January 20, 2012 at 1:16 PM

We have people running for state house seats with no districts on them. Won’t matter much since all it takes to win is a D next to your name around here.

lonestar1 on January 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

You have to laugh at Texas Democrats. They try to stay on that racist horse and they give it their best shot.

In the end they fail.

CorporatePiggy on January 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Paging crr6.
Paging crr6
Come in crr6.

angryed on January 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

“No laws were broken!”

There, a homage… I had to say it…

Khun Joe on January 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

BobMbx

The SCt will uphold ObamaCare 6-3. Look at Scalia’s opinions in Commerce Clause cases. He will vote to uphold the mandate and Kennedy will join him. With Scalia taking the lead, Kennedy can vote to uphold without catching all the flack he would catch if he went alone.

Horace on January 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

BTW – I think upholding ObamaCare could be in the final straw in destroying our Republic, but I still think Scalia will vote to uphold, then retire if a Repub wins the Presidency.

Horace on January 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Don’t fret Dems, you have had your way with redistricting in IL. IL voters keep rewarding your for the bang up job you are doing managing IL.

WashJeff on January 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Well, yeah, except the corrupto-spendo-crats in IL chased enough people out of the state that IL lost a seat in the US House, so that’s one less the Dimbeciles have to play with. A year ago Gov Quinnocchio raised the state income tax 67% to help pay off over $8,000,000,000 in debt only, serprize–NOT–according to the state comptroller IL still has over $8,000,000,000 in unpaid bills and now has the worst credit rating of any state in the nation. IL is now known as the “Greece” of America. Whoohoo!!

I like to think that our former US House seat went to TX as 1 of the 4 they gained and that they’ll use it for more good than IL ever would have.

stukinIL4now on January 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

It is unfortunate that newt gingrich is the ONLY candidate who promises to stop these out-of-control, arrogant, power-grabbing, dictatorial, activist judicial tyrants and restore power to the people and their duly elected representatives. Everybody else is just putting their heads in the sand and not supporting a fair and balanced republic. Shame on them.

TeaPartyNation on January 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Hey, that’s good news! Stay tuff reps!

tinkerthinker on January 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Asianeyes704 on January 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Are you one of the approximately 12% of us in this district who would vote for a moldy tortilla over Charlie Gonzales? We might do a little better if someone who wasn’t insane would challenge him, but alas.

VerbumSap on January 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Three cheers for the Supreme Court!

Axion on January 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

how often do you see a sentiment like that?

Dr. Demento on January 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Tx. Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott is Righteous!

The whole case was bogus from the get go. Democrats wanted to replace 5 hispanic republicans with 5 hispanic democrats and got the idiot judge in San Antonio to buy into it and the judge was in a snit because Perry tried to push the anti-sanctuary city bill in a special session. So Gov. Perry sent Abbott to SCOTUS and Abbott did what he does best…win.

workingclass artist on January 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Did even the Wise Latina vote to strike down the Democrat map? If so, wow!

WannabeAnglican on January 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Democrats in Texas want to parlay Perry’s quittin’ into a rallying cry to corral wayward liberals in Texas to overturn the supermajority gained in 2010 and had started crowing about it but this news will burst that bubble.

Liberals faceplant…Good Day for Texas!

workingclass artist on January 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Two unanimous decisions against democrats. This is interesting.

maddmatt on January 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I count two recent 9-0 decisions in our favor. I’m shocked–I expected us to win this case, but a unanimous ruling is far more than I dared to hope for.

Mr. Prodigy on January 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Of course, if the redistricting is not approved before the next election, the congressional seats will be vacant. It is probably a good assumption that Governor Perry will appoint four Republicans to the seats without necessarily resorting ot an election. Good thinking, dems.

Old Country Boy on January 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM

The Courts have to be reigned in, this nonsense should not have begun in the first place. The men in black are far too powerful and I do believe some legislatures should just start to ignore them when they step beyond the line.

The gerrymandering should end also though, notably it is used as a weapon by the establishment to eliminate those they want to disappear.

Africanus on January 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

JUST thinking….

If the dims really wanted to save face, killing the O-Care monstrosity would be the way to do it. Based on the pair of 9-0 decisions made, I can tell they still have a long way to go to gain any “trust” from the American public. Will they kill O-Care? I don’t really know… but look at it this way: You kill O-care and save face before the incoming Republican senators do, or you watch it go down burning January 2013.

Your call.

Turtle317 on January 20, 2012 at 3:09 PM

ORDER ON MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENAS
Defendant, President Barack Obama, a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for the office of the President of the United States, has filed a motion to quash the subpoena compelling his attendance at the hearing on January 26, 2012.

However, Defendant fails to provide any legal authority to support his motion to quash the subpoena to attend.

Thus, the argument regarding service is without merit.
Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to quash is denied.
SO ORDERED, this the 20th day of January, 2012.

J_Crater on January 20, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Whoop Whoop! I live in the DFW area and was overjoyed with the courts decision today and that it was unanimous! Don’t Mess with Texas!

neyney on January 20, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I am having trouble finding out if this was NINE-0. Did all the justices rule or did any absent or recuse themselves?

WannabeAnglican on January 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Big win for GOP, but interim.

Of course.

mankai on January 20, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I am of the opinion that the Supreme Court sees what is going on with the Obama Administration. They have in recent opinions shot the Obama administration down 9-0 and 8-1 in some recent policy issues. Those are major slap downs.

In a recent EPA case being argued before the court several Justices including Kagan and I think Ginsburg and Bryer were taken back by the blatent abuse of power. One of the Conservative Justices even said of the EPA policy that most Americans would think something like that could not happen in America….OUCH!

The Supremes would have also seen the Obama abuse of recess appointments, the Obama administration declaring birth control will be paid for by insurance companies and the tax payers at no cost to the user, along with the Obama/Holder abuse of the Voting Rights Act. And today I am sure the Supremes have heard that a high ranking US Attorney has asserted his Fifth Amendment protections to avoid testifying in the Fast and Furious Congressional investigation.

And does anyone think the Supreme Court has forgot the Obama State of the Union disaster where Obama went after the Supreme Court?

There is a power grab and stench coming from the Obama Administration that I think the Liberal members want to find separation from. I think the liberals on the Supreme Court can for perception purposes establish their independence by ruling against the Obama administration for a while, including Obamacare. They will remain liberal, but separate themselves from the stench.

Just my opinion.

DVPTexFla on January 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM

It is good to see the Democrats fail with their attempts to rule via the court system.

I now feel the need to research what sort of justices 0bama Romney has chosen and supported in the past.

DannoJyd on January 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

It is good to see the Democrats fail with their attempts to rule via the court system.

I now feel the need to research what sort of justices 0bama Romney has chosen and supported in the past.

DannoJyd on January 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Thanks Danno. Also wanted to mention thanks for your last night’s
Wiki info on Newt. I haven’t read it all, but did read your comments. Very interesting on how the R’s worked to remove him as Speaker.

Research is great, and you do well at it. Getting to the bottom of an issue is what it’s all about. I do a lot of research myself because there is so much I don’t know:-)

bluefox on January 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM

2012 is quickly shaping up to be the year of Holder led DoJ SCOTUS smackdown. Obama is going to have to devote the entire State of the Union address to insulting and bullying SCOTUS at this rate.

NotCoach on January 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Maybe SCOTUS will be no-shows when Obama delivers his FINAL State Of The Union address to Congress on January 24, 2012.

timberline on January 20, 2012 at 4:57 PM

2012 is quickly shaping up to be the year of Holder led DoJ SCOTUS smackdown. Obama is going to have to devote the entire State of the Union address to insulting and bullying SCOTUS at this rate.

NotCoach on January 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Let’s just hope that a certain Obama administration health care law is dropped as well.

netster007x on January 20, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Ed’s analysis is pretty close to mine, but I think this is an even bigger deal than his post suggests. My take: “In 9/0 ruling, SCOTUS smacks down 3-judge federal court that redrew Texas’ Congressional districts; stresses state government’s superior role over federal courts in determining the interests of Texas citizens.”

Beldar on January 21, 2012 at 12:59 AM

At last … judicial sanity

Jimbobby on January 21, 2012 at 2:55 AM

I am having trouble finding out if this was NINE-0. Did all the justices rule or did any absent or recuse themselves?

WannabeAnglican on January 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Link

Vote
9-0

mnealtx on January 21, 2012 at 2:57 PM