Texas 10 in federal court
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports,
With a third special legislative session on redistricting scheduled to begin Monday, a panel of three federal judges promised to resolve as early as Friday questions about the legality of the state Republican Party leadership's push for a new congressional district map that would increase GOP power in Washington.
During a two-hour hearing Thursday on a lawsuit alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act by state Republican leaders, the panel _ composed of two Republicans and a Democrat _ appeared unimpressed by Democratic arguments that the act applies to the entire legislative process and skeptical that courts should intervene before an actual map has been passed.
"I'm trying to understand why that doesn't raise constitutional issues," said presiding judge Patrick Higginbotham, a Republican U.S. Circuit judge in Dallas.
And I am trying to understand what Judge Higginbotham meant -- or why the writer and/or editor thought this quote out of context followed logically from a paragraph saying the court was "unimpressed." Perhaps a lawyer who was at the hearing can tell me what really happened.
AP has a slightly different story. And the Dallas Morning News also offers a pessimistic outlook for the Dems:
A panel of federal judges offered Democratic senators little hope Thursday they will order a halt to the redistricting train set to roll next week.
The three judges questioned the need for them to wade into the Texas fight, as requested in the Democrats' lawsuit alleging that the GOP redistricting effort violates the federal Voting Rights Act.
"What concerns me is the freezing of a dynamic legislative process," said 5th Circuit Judge Patrick Higginbotham of Dallas. "The Legislature is a complicated, interactive force ... with chairmanships, blocker bills, killing each others' bills, getting in fights."
Higginbotham seems to understand the stuff they don't teach in civics class in high school, "How a bill becomes law." A real flowchart of legislation resembles a combination of a plate of spaghetti and a map of rivers in the Southwest where some of them go underground for a ways.
State Rep. Joe Crabb, R-Atascocita, who as chair of the House Redistricting Committee has distinguished himself by equal parts ineffectiveness and irascibility, continues to demonstrate his limitations as a public servant.
And it gets better, or worse (depending on your point of view), from there.