Monday, October 18, 2004

The Gold Medal of Sleaze 

We are surprised and delighted to know that there exists a level of "raw partisan greed" so "egregious" that it disturbs even the Rehnquist court, and equally delighted (though not surprised) to learn that Texas Bug Man Tom DeLay is the ethical athlete who cleared that stratospherically high bar -- although we cannot help but wish the judges had revealed their scores a wee bit sooner. From the NYT, courtesy of Zemblan patriot K.Z.:
The Supreme Court today ordered a lower court to reconsider an electoral redistricting plan for Texas that could give Republicans six more seats in Congress, handing Texas Democrats a tentative legal victory, though not in time to reshape the Nov. 2 ballot.

The new plan, drawn up by the Republican-controlled State Legislature last year at the urging of the majority leader of the United States House of Representatives, Tom DeLay, would help the Republicans protect their majority in the United States House.

The high court said, with little comment, that the Texas decision should be reviewed in light of a decision the justices handed down in April on a case in Pennsylvania on similar redistricting issues . . . .

In that ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the boundaries of Congressional districts against Democratic charges of unconstitutional gerrymandering. But in its 5-to-4 decision, the justices left open the possibility that someday a case of gerrymandering might arise that was so egregious that it violated the Constitution.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who was the swing vote in that case, joined his conservative colleagues in saying that the Pennsylvania remapping did not violate the Constitution. But in a separate opinion that is being scrutinized today for how it affects the Texas case, he declared that he was not willing to say, as they did, that no case would ever rise to that standard.

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