When Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott decided to appeal the representational maps handed down by a San Antonio federal court panel, some acted like his was an exercise in futility. But after winning a unanimous decision from the US Supreme Court, and today’s release of the re-drawn maps, not only is Mr. Abbott’s legal approach vindicated, but his place as the state’s most valuable political player is secured.
The maps issued by the court today look a lot like the maps drawn by the Texas Legislature. And let’s be clear: the Lege’s maps weren’t perfect. The important difference is that it’s better to have the legislature constitutionally drawing imperfect maps, than it is for federal judges to draw even more imperfect maps from the bench.
The authority for drawing representational boundaries rests with legislators in the several states, not appointed judges. Rather than set a dangerous precedent, Mr. Abbott wisely and correctly fought those who would undermine our constitutional system of apportioning districts.
It’s good for Texans that Mr. Abbott has made a professional habit of battling judicial activism, both as a judge and as the state’s attorney. That he has also made a habit of winning is even better for Texans!
The new maps are just now available at the Legislative Redistricting Board’s website (use the mobile viewer and see maps C235, S172 and H309 – congressional, state senate and state house, respectively.
We and others will be parsing through the new maps over the next several days to see who is in and out in the various districts. (We’ll also update our Legislator Locator and TaxpayerPledge.com websites in the coming days with the new address-look-up district information.)
One important victory is immediately apparent: Geanie Morrison’s district has been restored. The court had paired State Reps. Geanie Morrison and Todd Hunter in a bizarre district.
Keeping conservative stalwarts like Mrs. Morrison working in the Texas House is great news for taxpayers.
What we still don’t have is a final date for the state’s primaries, though it appears the tentative May 29 date is looking more likely. It’s expected we’ll know more on that front in the next several days.
For the moment, we want to thank Mr. Abbott for again diligently — and successfully — defending Texas’ rights against encroachment from activist courts and federal mismanagement.