ELECT THE PEOPLE'S LAWYER: David Van Os, Democrat for Texas Attorney General

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Statement on US Supreme Court Redistricting Verdict

Today the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Republican Party's transparent attempt to protect Republican Congressman Henry Bonilla by decreasing the Latino population in Bonilla's 23rd Congressional District. The Court held that the redrawing of District 23 violated the voting rights of the district's Latino population under the Voting Rights Act. The justices' analysis of voting trends showed conclusively that a clear majority of Latino voters do not support Bonilla, and that the DeLay redistricting plan had removed a large chunk of Latino voters from the district in order to protect Bonilla from the political threat to his incumbency represented by the growing Latino voting strength in the district.

In redrawing District 23, the Republican Party, masquerading as the Texas Legislature, callously diluted Latino voting strength in order to protect a Republican Congressman. Now the federal courts will redraw the district and neighboring districts in order to redress this injustice. If the Republican Party and Henry Bonilla wish to retain Bonilla's seat in the U.S. House, they are going to have to convince the voters to re-elect him rather than drawing those voters out of the district.

The Voting Rights Act made it possible for the U.S. Supreme Court to redress the injustice done in South Texas. This decision demonstrates the importance of the Voting Rights Act to keep our society on the road to equal access and equal opportunity. President Lyndon B. Johnson, from Texas, was right to promote the initial passage of the Voting Rights Act and succeeding presidents, including Ronald Reagan, have been right to maintain it. The current Republican Party power grabbers in Washington are trying to kill the Voting Rights Act, so that they will be able to attack the voting rights of minority citizens with impunity. Their blockage of Voting Rights Act renewal is an insult to history and a slap in the face to Latino and African-American citizens. It is intolerable.

Today, incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott issued his usual self-congratulatory press release in the wake of this decision. If I were him I would not be proud of his Republican buddies' violations of the Voting Rights Act. I am certain Abbott will now go into court and try to delay the court from remedying the violation. This is the same Greg Abbott who has been indicting minority citizens on questionable charges of "voter fraud" in the continuing perpetration of Republican Party voter suppression tactics. All the more reason Texans need an Attorney General who will promote instead of suppress the voting rights of all Texas citizens.

posted by snarko! at 2:28 PM


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