June 26, 2018

Two stories caught my eye this week:

Supreme Court upholds most Texas election districts over charges of racial discrimination

Justice Gorsuch continues to pay dividends to Possum Hollar:

WASHINGTON — A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that Texas did not draw most congressional and state legislative election districts based on racial demographics.

The 5-4 ruling by the court’s conservative justices said only one state House district was designed by using race impermissibly. It upheld the state legislature’s maps, based largely on a federal court’s 2013 requirement, for all others.

This is really bad news, not just for Texas but for all of us. It justifies gerrymandering as long as it looks like racism isn’t the motive behind it. And if there’s one thing old-school Republicans know how to do is be racist without leaving fingerprints. The GOP freshman class, however, are proud of their white supremacy bonafides.

This decision might be of shorter duration than we dread, just because The New Confederacy loves to let the blah’s know that they are comin’ fer ’em.

And then there is the Texas other story:

According to KVII, Amarillo resident Roman Leal started a GoFundMepage Wednesday to put up a more welcoming sign after learning of a billboard near Vega that read, “Liberals, please continue on I-40 until you have left our GREAT STATE OF TEXAS.” (That billboard has since been taken down.)

“We need a sign that represents the true, hospitable spirit of the great state of Texas,” Leal wrote in the fundraiser’s description. “‘Texas is for everyone – not for bigotry. Welcome, y’all!’ will go up on the Lamar digital billboard at I40 and Coulter. It will be visible to travelers and commuters driving along the interstate in Amarillo, giving us a chance to put our best boot forward. Meeting the campaign goal will keep the billboard up for 4 weeks. Any contributions exceeding the goal will be used to pay for a longer duration.”

So Texas continues to be our US Lab for Bad Policy, and the gerrymandering will continue there and elsewhere. But with a heart, y’all.

Crossposted from Mock Paper Scissors

Editors note: Starting on page 48 of this .pdf file, Justice Sotomayor's dissent in the gerrymandering case is worth the read.

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