Texas Court Ruling has Potential of Making a Mockery of Democracy

Jan 6, 2004

(Columbia, SC) - House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair James E. Clyburn (SC-6), and the highest ranking African-American in Congress, today issued this reaction to the federal court ruling in support of Texas redrawn Congressional districts. 

"Today's Texas court ruling is a huge blow to the voting rights of minorities in Texas, and if the United States Supreme Court allows it to stand could have a devastating cascading effect throughout the nation.  This decision validates the dilution of minority voting strength to the point that minority voters no longer have an effective voice in Texas' federal electoral process.  Preventing disenfranchisement is the heart of the Voting Rights Act, and this decision flies in the face of that landmark legislation.

"The deck is stacked against fair voting practices in Texas.  The Justice Department officials that pre-cleared the redistricting required by the Voting Rights Act were appointed by the current Republican president, who was most recently governor of Texas.  But because that state's decision could carry national repercussions, today is another dark day in American history, the day the Voting Rights Act was gutted by partisan politics. 

"I join my colleagues in calling for the U.S. Supreme Court to take immediate steps to rectify this reckless disregard of the Voting Rights Act.  The nation's highest court has consistently supported communities of interest and race as factors in redistricting.  Today's decision clearly says that the political party in power gets to put their self interest above all else in drawing district boundaries.  If this ruling stands, scores of States will begin making a mockery of democracy."

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