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December 2, 2005 8:18 AM   Subscribe

A memo from the Department of Justice in Texas' voting division reveals that, back in 2003 during the Texas GOP's redistricting push, the division unanimously agreed that the redistricting plan sponsored by the state GOP and Rep. Tom DeLay was illegal under the Voting Rights Act. The plan was pushed through anyway, being the most effective in securing additional House seats for the GOP.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (71 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Redistricting is Constitutionally required.

The Supreme Court's questionable opinions in Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr forces redistricting to be complicated and not logical.

There is an easy method of determining whether redistricting is done correctly: challenge in federal court.
posted by dios at 8:25 AM on December 2, 2005


But Justice Department spokesman Eric W. Holland said the decision to approve the Texas plan was vindicated by a three-judge panel that rejected the Democratic challenge. "The court ruled that, in fact, the new congressional plan created a sufficient number of safe minority districts given the demographics of the state and the requirements of the law," Holland said. He added that Texas now has three African Americans serving in Congress, up from two before the redistricting.

Just wanted to include that since it was somehow left out of the initial post.

The fundamental issue with the VRA is vote dillution. "Democrats/Republicans lost seats" is not a basis for a legal challenge.
posted by dios at 8:29 AM on December 2, 2005


I'd also point out that multiple published studies and books by Professor Mark E. Rush, an expert on redistricting, have indicated that re-districting is such an inexact science that efforts to gain power by partisan redistricting is ultimately ineffective.
posted by dios at 8:40 AM on December 2, 2005


Just wanted to include that since it was somehow left out of the initial post.

"Somehow?" Well, no shit, Sherlock. It was "somehow" left out of the intitial post because I chose not to include a passage from the article in the FPP.

I'm guessing your "point" was that I left out a viewpoint you favored. So I'm sure you're equally furious I didn't mention this part in the FPP either:

The question to be considered by Justice Department lawyers was whether the new map was "retrogressive," because it diluted the power of minority voters to elect their candidate of choice. Under the adopted Texas plan, Frost's congressional district was dismantled, while the proportion of Hispanics in Bonilla's district dropped significantly. Those losses to black and Hispanic voters were not offset by other gains, the memo said.

"This result quite plainly indicates a reduction in minority voting strength," Rich wrote in his concurring opinion. "The state's argument that it has increased minority voting strength . . . simply does not stand up under careful analysis."


I'm sure you find that section meaningless, natch.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:40 AM on December 2, 2005


It's funny to me that every thing the left has been saying about these corrupt mother fuckers for years is finally coming around to other people.

Its like, we've been saying these GOP vermin are vicious, where were you?

Oh, right, voting against gay marriage.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:41 AM on December 2, 2005


The real lesson is that whoever gets to appoint the top folks in the cabinet departments (e.g. Justice) gets to call the shots. Once more I say to every Nader voter: there's really no difference between Gore and Bush?!? WTF were you thinking...?!?
posted by twsf at 8:45 AM on December 2, 2005


Redistricting is Constitutionally required.

The Supreme Court's questionable opinions in Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr forces redistricting to be complicated and not logical.

There is an easy method of determining whether redistricting is done correctly: challenge in federal court.


This is about the spontaneous redistricting irrelevant to the decannual one mandated by State and Federal law. That is is being challenged sort of suggests it's reference to the Federal courts. It says this in the article.

I'd also point out that multiple published studies and books by Professor Mark E. Rush, an expert on redistricting, have indicated that re-districting is such an inexact science that efforts to gain power by partisan redistricting is ultimately ineffective.

This entire thing is about the mid-period redistricting done by partisan Republicans for the sole purpose of gaining power. The article and the memo are reflecting on the Texas GOP's insistence of pushing a plan that secured them the most power.

You are absolutely amazing, you know that. How is it you actually quoted from the article and could not possibly have read it at the same time?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:46 AM on December 2, 2005


I saw two homos kissin' one time, and I vowed, NEVER AGAIN! Whatever them Republicans want to do with the Army and the colored people is okay by me so long as they keep that kissin' outa my face and a tankful in my SUV.
posted by squirrel at 8:53 AM on December 2, 2005


Culture of corruption.
posted by edverb at 8:53 AM on December 2, 2005


I know exactly what it is about. I live here and read the same arguments all the time. If you want to get into the legal arguments, then by all means, let's do that.

What I was addressing above was the framing of your post. You suggest two things in the framing of your post (1) that a memorandum of the Justice Department was dispositive of the issue; and (2) that a problem with has something to do with the Republicans picking up seats.

Neither is correct. If you look at the opinion in Vieth, in which the pluarlity held that there is no legally cognizable way to analyze or adjudicate regarding political gerrymandering, and if you look at the VRA and the focus on vote dilution of minorites, you will see your suggesting in the framing that a Party picked up or lost seats is a legally irrelevant principle.
posted by dios at 9:00 AM on December 2, 2005


This is about the spontaneous redistricting irrelevant to the decannual one mandated by State and Federal law.

This is incorrect. It was, in fact, the redistricting that was required. The 2000 census came out in 2002, it took a while for the plan to be drawn up, and there was quite a fight to get it passed (including Democrats leaving the state to prevent a quorum).

Furthermore, the Justice Department did approve the plan; the early memo notwithstanding.
posted by dios at 9:06 AM on December 2, 2005


Dios, I feel like if it came out that Bush was in reality a bloodsucking alien you would respond : "Aliens' rights to powers are unabridged by the constitution. Human flesh as a dietary supplement falls within the discretionary power of the executive branch."
posted by xammerboy at 9:06 AM on December 2, 2005


Here's the simple math: If Tom Delay is pushing for it, it's probably unethical and/or illegal.

Dios -- the motivation is transparent, the methodology and timing questionable, and the results predictable. You're in sad company on this.
posted by edverb at 9:08 AM on December 2, 2005


Dios, excuse my French, but this was a dick in the ass for minority voters... and that's EXACTLY why the Repubs did it.

You can support this kind of stuff if you want to, but it makes you look like a despicable person. I'd like to think that you're not, really.
posted by BobFrapples at 9:15 AM on December 2, 2005


xammerboy, thanks for the personal insult instead of addressing the issues. Should I just shut up now?

edverb: Dios -- the motivation is transparent, the methodology and timing questionable, and the results predictable.

The Supreme Court said there is no judicially discoverable and manageable standards upon which it can sit in utilize inproposed for the adjudication of partisan gerrymandering claims. The methodology is quesitonable, but it is a by-product of the (in my view, incorrect) Supreme Court rulings in Reynolds and Baker. The timing is not questionable since they were under a legal obligation to do so.

If you have a moral or political objection to them, fine. But if you want to make a legal argument, then don't be conclusory on topics which are way more nuanced than that.
posted by dios at 9:18 AM on December 2, 2005


The Supreme Court said there is no judicially discoverable and manageable standards upon which it can sit in utilize inproposed for the adjudication of partisan gerrymandering claims.

I butchered that. It was supposed to say there was "no judicially discoverable and manageable standards with which it can sit in judgment upon and utilize in the proposed adjudication of partisan gerrymandering claims."
posted by dios at 9:19 AM on December 2, 2005


Once more I say to every Nader voter: there's really no difference between Gore and Bush?!? WTF were you thinking...?!?
posted by twsf


Don't even start with this tired old crap!

Al Gore? WTF were you thinking?

John Kerry? WTF were you thinking?

Hillary Clinton? W(here)TF is Ralph when we need him?
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:22 AM on December 2, 2005


Could you please lay of the insults or the attempts to make me feel bad for stating the legal reality of the situation? I didn't create the legality reality; it's not an expression of my personal views on it.

If you really care to know, my personal view is that we should get rid of all gerrymandering and redistricting by overturning Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims. If you want to challenge me on that, please do. But please don't posion the well by telling how evil you think I am.
posted by dios at 9:23 AM on December 2, 2005


But please don't posion the well by telling how evil you think I am.
posted by dios


I don't think you're evil--or not any more so than the rest of us.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:26 AM on December 2, 2005


You suggest two things in the framing of your post (1) that a memorandum of the Justice Department was dispositive of the issue...

You mean that it addressed the issue of this redistricting move's legality? It did.

and (2) that a problem with has something to do with the Republicans picking up seats.

The FPP did not imply that, you inferred it. Picking up seats at the expense of voting fairness was the motivation, not the problem, and the FPP frames it that way.

Furthermore, the Justice Department did approve the plan; the early memo notwithstanding.

No duh; that's the point. Furthermore, you're a fuckwit.
posted by squirrel at 9:28 AM on December 2, 2005


An evil fuckwit.
posted by Balisong at 9:29 AM on December 2, 2005


My apologies, Dios... you're right. You and I are talking about 2 different things here.

You're arguing the legality of this, and I'm bitching about the morality.

So... okay. I'm still pissed... but not at you. Heh.
posted by BobFrapples at 9:29 AM on December 2, 2005


I think dios is probably right in that this gerrymandering is, at worst, political-but-not-illegal. What infuriates me is that it's the end result of a lot of illegal fundraising shenanigans. Even if DeLay and his friends get convicted (which seems increasingly likely), it'll be hard to undo this.
posted by mkultra at 9:30 AM on December 2, 2005


Did the Supreme Court agree to take the case? The article says the case is "before the Supreme Court," but that could just mean a petition for review is pending.
posted by brain_drain at 9:38 AM on December 2, 2005


The methodology is quesitonable [...]

The timing is not questionable since they were under a legal obligation to do so.

It is unprecedented to redistrict in years not ending in "1", after each census. The only times it had been done midterm was in response to a court ruling. They addressed the issue in 2001 (as is standard), and again under DeLay's plan, did they not? What "legal" obligation did they have to touch redistricting twice, in-between censuses?

Unprecedented actions are by definition "questionable".

The fact remains that they were advised this was likely illegal under the Voting Rights Act, and they ignored that advisory. And so do you.

Their actions, and your arguments aren't in the best interests of voters, or of democracy.

If you have a moral or political objection to them, fine. But if you want to make a legal argument, then don't be conclusory on topics which are way more nuanced than that.

I didn't go to law school, and I'm not making a legal argument on Metafliter. You are, and a slippery one at that.

Here's what: changing the rules in the middle of the game, ignoring contrary opinion, diluting minority votes, achieiving thru redistricting what they couldn't accomplish at the ballot box...and you're arguing in favor of it?!? Something tells me if (when) the shoe is on the other foot, you'll be howling.

And by taking this unprecedented action -- Delay has near guaranteed that Democrats (who now control more statehouses, and are liekly to gain in 2006 -- again, between censuses) will certainly retaliate, as soon as they can. And as reprehensible as the practice of gerrymandering is -- they will be able to point to TX redistricting and say "see? If they can do it, why can't we?" They've been given the choice between playing dirty (like Delay) or taking the high road and finishing last as their reward. Some choice.

If you don't have a moral objection now, the motivation is pretty transparent. Party before country.
posted by edverb at 9:43 AM on December 2, 2005


And if/when Democrats take the same action in response Dios -- will you pop up to argue the legality of their actions?
posted by edverb at 9:46 AM on December 2, 2005


It was supposed to say there was "no judicially discoverable and manageable standards with which it can sit in judgment upon and utilize in the proposed adjudication of partisan gerrymandering claims."

Except, of course, that this isn't a partisan gerry-mandering case, it's a racial one.

A partisan gerry-mandering case is one in which the party in power looks at the demographic map to determine how to best realign districts to consolidate power based purely on the party affiliation of the residents of those districts, i.e., without regard to race. Vieth v. Jubelirer, for example, the Supreme Court affirmed a plan to use sophisticated computer databases to draw electoral district lines that allocate districts based on Republican or Democrat voting patterns. The Court did not address compliance with requirements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 regarding racial distribution. Moreover, the key question addressed by the Court was the scope of the intent test. Justice Scalia, writing for the plurality:
Appellants contend that their intent test must be discernible and manageable because it has been borrowed from our racial gerrymandering cases. See Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900 (1995); Shaw v. Reno, 509 U. S. 630 (1993). To begin with, in a very important respect that is not so. In the racial gerrymandering context, the predominant intent test has been applied to the challenged district in which the plaintiffs voted. See Miller, supra; United States v. Hays, 515 U. S. 737 (1995). Here, however, appellants do not assert that an apportionment fails their intent test if any single district does so. Since "it would be quixotic to attempt to bar state legislatures from considering politics as they redraw district lines," Brief for Appellants 3, appellants propose a test that is satisfied only when "partisan advantage was the predominant motivation behind the entire statewide plan," id., at 32 (emphasis added). Vague as the "predominant motivation" test might be when used to evaluate single districts, it all but evaporates when applied statewide.
Also note that Scalia was writing for a plurality, and not a majority. Justice Kennedy concurred in the judgment, but did so in a separate opinion. Because Kennedy's opinion was necessary to achieve a majority of five votes, and because he concurred on narrower grounds, his opinion is arguably the only binding portion of the Court's pronouncement in Vieth. Justice Kennedy specifically notes that the Court was not addressing a racial gerrymandering case: "That courts can grant relief in districting cases where race is involved does not answer our need for fairness principles here. Those controversies implicate a different inquiry."

Moreover, Justice Kennedy's opinion does not categorically reject suits based on partisan gerrymandering:
Finally, I do not understand the plurality to conclude that partisan gerrymandering that disfavors one party is permissible. Indeed, the Court seems to acknowledge it is not. See ante, at 23 ("We do not disagree with [the] judgment" that "partisan gerrymanders [are incompatible] with democratic principles"); ante, at 24 (noting that it is the case, and that the plurality opinion assumes it to be the case, that "an excessive injection of politics [in districting] is unlawful"). This is all the more reason to admit the possibility of later suits, while holding just that the parties have failed to prove, under our "well developed and familiar" standard, that these legislative classifications "reflec[t] no policy, but simply arbitrary and capricious action." Baker, 369 U. S., at 226.
In any case, the redistricting scheme alleged here was not based on around voting patterns, as the plaintiffs in Vieth alleged. Instead, the plan Delay alleged was a classic racial gerry-mandering scheme, designed to break up strong minority districts in an effort to systematically disenfranchise black voters. Your spurious reference to Vieth notwithstanding.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:50 AM on December 2, 2005


It is unprecedented to redistrict in years not ending in "1", after each census.

This is incorrect. The 2000 census didn't even come out until 2002. The Texas Legislature took up the issue in the next session after the release of the census. It took awhile to get it drawn up and approved. I have no idea where you gettting this argument that it should have been done in 2001. If you are aware of some legal principle that all redistricting must be done in years that end in "1," please direct me to that. I would be interested to see it seeing as how it would have been a logistical impossibility because the census came out in 2002.

I'm not making a legal argument on Metafliter. You are, and a slippery one at that.

So that's convenient. You know nothing about the law on this issue, but you claim to know enough to characterize my statements as "slippery."

As for the rest of your comments, I have already addressed them above.
posted by dios at 9:51 AM on December 2, 2005


Can we mess with Texas yet?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:57 AM on December 2, 2005


This is incorrect. The 2000 census didn't even come out until 2002.

Wrong.
March 7-30, 2001 Census 2000 Redistricting Data Summary File

May 15, 2001 - June 7, 2001 Demographic Profile
(Note: Census tracts released June 13 -- August 22, 2001)

May 15, 2001 - June 7, 2001 Congressional District Demographic Profile

Same as profile described above but for Congressional Districts

May 31, 2001 Census 2000 Housing Unit Counts

June 27, 2001 Race and Hispanic or Latino Summary File
Moreover (emphasis mine):
Amid the brouhaha over redistricting in Texas earlier this year, Representative Martin Frost's office requested that Library of Congress researchers investigate when the last mid-decade redistricting occurred. David Huckabee, specialist in American national government for the Congressional Research Service, wrote back that "there are no prohibitions for states to revisit the issue of redistricting during the decade following the census, but they appear not to have done so except in response to legal action during the past 50 years." In other words, actions like those undertaken by Texas Republicans have never in living memory been launched by either political party.

"There's been a gentlemen's agreement over time by both parties that you only do redistricting in a year ending in one," explains Representative Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat. "If a party gains ascendancy later in the decade, it's unprecedented to do it at the next election."
posted by edverb at 10:01 AM on December 2, 2005


W(here)TF is Ralph when we need him?

Ralph Reed? Isn't he tied to Atta and Indians?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:09 AM on December 2, 2005


monju_bostasu, you are correct that it was a pluarlity opinion, and you are correct with about the VRA applying to racial opinions.

Kennedy's concurrence surely isn't the controlling opinion since it was not joined by anyone. Scalia's opinion is the controlling opinion to the extent Kennedy agreed to it, which would include a rejection of the standard articulated in Banderner. The result is that there is no effects test of any way to resolve what is ostensibly a political question. The Court recognizes that political gerrymandering isn't a good thing, but it is something that has occurred for centuries, and it is a political question.

that this isn't a partisan gerry-mandering case, it's a racial one.

I find it a bit curious to label this a VRA case instead of a political gerrymandering case. On one hand, you have people such as this thread yelling that the problem is DeLays naked attempt to politically gerrymander, but the other hand, since that is a political question the Court won't hear, one argues that it this is a racial gerrymander. Importantly, the district court found that this resulted in the opposite of vote dilution. The Court found that there were sufficient number of minority districts that were created to be safe.

And here we see the problem with the interesection of Baker, Reynolds, and the VRA. The act of redisticting, if has to be done, is a political act to political bodies (a root and branch problem). As such, as the opinion Vieth holds, there is not consitutionally prohibitive of political gerrymandering. The problem is run into when one assumes that race definies politics---a legal principle that I am sure the Court will not embrace. That is, the argument is that because Martin Frost lost, minorities are disadvantaged because they preferred Martin Frost. The concept that links race to a political ideology does not exist in the VRA or the courts' analysis of racial gerrymandering Scalia's opinion points this out, in depth, but I would point out the following:

[Stevens] says that we "mistakenly assum[e] that race cannot provide a legitimate basis for making political judgments." But we do not say that race-conscious decisionmaking is always unlawful. Race can be used, for example, as an indicator to achieve the purpose of neighborhood cohesiveness in districting. What we have said is impermissible is "the purpose of segregating voters on the basis of race,"--that is to say, racial gerrymandering for race's sake, which would be the equivalent of political gerrymandering for politics' sake. Justice Stevens says we "er[r] in assuming that politics is 'an ordinary and lawful motive' " in districting, --but all he brings forward to contest that is the argument that an excessive injection of politics is unlawful. So it is, and so does our opinion assume. That does not alter the reality that setting out to segregate voters by race is unlawful and hence rare, and setting out to segregate them by political affiliation is (so long as one doesn't go too far) lawful and hence ordinary.

I think the method of attack by labelling this a VRA case will most certainly fail based on Vieth. Because to make this a VRA case, one has to suggest an exact correlation between race and a voting pattern for a particular party.
posted by dios at 10:14 AM on December 2, 2005


Actually, dios, they had the census data in early 2001.
posted by fleacircus at 10:20 AM on December 2, 2005


Er as I see was pointed out (kick cat).
posted by fleacircus at 10:21 AM on December 2, 2005


Redistricting is Constitutionally required.

It's required in Article I, Section 2, as modified by section 2 of the 14th Amendment and encoded in Title 13 of the United States Code.

According to this, the data from the mid-decade census specified in the code "cannot be used for apportionment." This article in The Nation reviews the Republicans' push for mid-decade redistricting in Texas and Colorado.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:21 AM on December 2, 2005


This is incorrect. The 2000 census didn't even come out until 2002.

Wrong.


Fair enough, I was wrong that the census didn't come out until 2002. I looked to see where I got that impression and it was from the fact that there was no plan produced in 2001 by the Texas Legislature.

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/faqcensus.shtml

I do not have perfect recollection of the timing, but I seem to remember that there was no plan in 2001 because there was too much opposition to bring it forward. In 2002, the plan was advanced and the Democrats fought it vehmently. At some point between 2002 and 2003, there was the act by Texas Democrats of leaving the state to avoid a vote.

Thus, though I was wrong about the census coming out in 2002 (it was the plan that I recalled did), the underlying point was salient: the redistricting which ultimately passed was the 2000 census redistricting. It was just delayed because they couldnt' get it done faster.

Of course, this entire timeline is all complicated by the fact that the Texas Legislature only meets every two years to consider new bills and has to go into special sessions to handle carry over business.
posted by dios at 10:24 AM on December 2, 2005


Dios, you are factually wrong. There was a re-districting in Texas in 2001. The state legislature could not agree on a map, so a three-judge panel drew one. This is the map that was used in the 2002 elections. Then the newly-elected congress redistricted again.

http://www.tgslc.org/lege_report/2001/lr_011203.cfm
http://www.house.gov/green/district/history.shtml
http://www.fairvote.org/redistricting/reports/remanual/txnews4.htm#approves

Also, Texas received their 2000 census data by March 2001, according to the AP:

http://www.fairvote.org/redistricting/reports/remanual/txnews2.htm#census

On preview, this has been pointed out, but hey, more links.
posted by jlub at 10:26 AM on December 2, 2005


the data from the mid-decade census specified in the code "cannot be used for apportionment."

Again, this was all based on the 2000 census.
posted by dios at 10:26 AM on December 2, 2005


The state legislature could not agree on a map, so a three-judge panel drew one.

Right. There is the point. The Legislature did not agree on one in special sessions, so they had to come back and do one. (The judge map was only for the 2002 mid-term elections; it was not a permanent map). The one that was finally passed, as their constitutional responsibilty required, after years of debate, was later in 2003.
posted by dios at 10:28 AM on December 2, 2005


I will point out one more thing: I am a bit confused on the focus on the timing. That is irrelevant from a legal perspective, and is rather an issue of politics. Again, that is a political question.

The failure to adopt one timely was a failure of politics, not an illegal matter.
posted by dios at 10:32 AM on December 2, 2005


For that are curious, here is the District Courts' opinion in this case, Henderson v. Perry.
posted by dios at 10:45 AM on December 2, 2005


Kennedy's concurrence surely isn't the controlling opinion since it was not joined by anyone.

Uh, no. Where there is no opinion gaining a majority of votes, the narrowest concurrence supporting the judgment is the controlling principle of the case. Probably the most cited example of this is Justice Powell's opinion in Bakke. Despite the his lone concurrence, his opinion contains the principles governing the resolution of that case. Similarly, in Vieth, the narrowest concurrence supporting the judgement comes from Justice Kennedy. The fact that it wasn't expressly joined by other Justices doesn't change this conclusion.

I find it a bit curious to label this a VRA case instead of a political gerrymandering case. On one hand, you have people such as this thread yelling that the problem is DeLays naked attempt to politically gerrymander, but the other hand, since that is a political question the Court won't hear, one argues that it this is a racial gerrymander.

Non-lawyers may inartfully call this political gerrymandering, because, of course, all gerrymandering is, at its core, political. Of course, the purpose of the scheme was to gain support for the Republican party and consolidate their power over elections in those districts. That is the purpose of all gerrymandering schemes. The fact that the purpose is partisan does not change the fact that the scheme targetted minority districts, not merely Democratic districts. The Justice Department memo clearly concluded that the plan "diluted black and Hispanic voting power in two congressional districts" in violation of the VRA. How is that not a VRA case?

Importantly, the district court found that this resulted in the opposite of vote dilution. The Court found that there were sufficient number of minority districts that were created to be safe.

Considering the case is still on appeal to the Supreme Court, it's a bit early to be making definitive pronouncements regarding the plan's legality. Moreover, while the number of congressional districts with a majority of racial minorities remained unchanged at 11, the total number of congressional districts, grew from 30 to 32. I don't really have enough information to give a solid opinion on the effect of the plan, I'm only taking issue with your argument that the Court's ruling regarding partisan gerrymandering applies to this case.

And here we see the problem with the interesection of Baker, Reynolds, and the VRA. The act of redisticting, if has to be done, is a political act to political bodies (a root and branch problem). As such, as the opinion Vieth holds, there is not consitutionally prohibitive of political gerrymandering. The problem is run into when one assumes that race definies politics---a legal principle that I am sure the Court will not embrace. That is, the argument is that because Martin Frost lost, minorities are disadvantaged because they preferred Martin Frost.

As I noted above, of course gerrymandering is inherently political. However, the fact that merely partisan gerrymandering may be constitutionally permissible under certain conditions in no way obviates the fact that racial gerrymandering is still unconstitutional, even where its purpose is partisan political gain. That doesn't equate race and politics, that merely recognizes that the dilution of minority voting power is utilized for partisan purposes. In this case, the argument is not simply that Frost lost, but that minorities voting rights were violated because of the plan designed to break up those districts.

Moreover, Vieth does not hold that partisan gerrymandering is constitutionally permissible. It's clear that the plaintiffs in Vieth attempted to expand the intent test from the district-by-district analysis used in the racial gerrymandering cases to a statewide analysis. The Court rejected that attempt, but per Justice Kennedy's concurrence, recognizes that partisan gerrymandering may still be constitutionally suspect under some conditions.

Your quote from Scalia's opinion is perhaps the most effective rebuttal to your argument: "That does not alter the reality that setting out to segregate voters by race is unlawful and hence rare, and setting out to segregate them by political affiliation is (so long as one doesn't go too far) lawful and hence ordinary." (my emphasis). The Delay plan is alleged to have set out to divide and segregate the minority voters, and therefore, if that claim is proven, would be unconstitutional.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:45 AM on December 2, 2005


dios said: I find it a bit curious to label this a VRA case instead of a political gerrymandering case. On one hand, you have people such as this thread yelling that the problem is DeLays naked attempt to politically gerrymander, but the other hand, since that is a political question the Court won't hear, one argues that it this is a racial gerrymander.

According to the article it's a little of both. The naked gerrymandering led to adoption of a racist redistricting. It's like the difference between being an alcoholic and beating your kids. One's illegal; the other one is what you know to be the real problem. Is it really so hard to understand?
posted by fleacircus at 10:49 AM on December 2, 2005


It's not a focus on the timing. As you said in your first post in this thread, if they didn't like the redistricting map, they should have challenged it in court. Therefore it makes a big difference whether the 2003 map was the first or second redistricting based on the 2000 census. You claim that the original redistricting map created in 2001 was not a "permanent map". I'm not sure about that, it could be true, I don't know.

But the whole point of the FPP was that a panel of (supposed) experts from the Justice Department determined that the 2003 map violated the voting rights act, but some political appointees overruled them and approved it anyway. Republicans in the Texas and Federal governments joined forces to disenfranchise minority voters. Some of us disapprove of that.
posted by jlub at 10:51 AM on December 2, 2005


Dios:

The corruption in this redistricting is grotesque. You know that. Argue the legality all you want but please let's not be coy about the severly ethics challenged nature of the Delay political machine.

It begs the question: what is your ultimate goal in so doing? Is it to weaken voter equal protection laws? Is it to sharpen your arguing skills? Do you get a wierd high bullying a room full of non lawyers with your brillant legal mind (which makes you a creep)? Is it a way to help the denizens of Mefi build solid legal arguments and thereby become better citizens? Are you just killing time? Are you trying to work your way up the GOP ladder by practicing the Neocon Ofuscation handbook in a realtively safe space. What's your deal?
posted by Skygazer at 10:54 AM on December 2, 2005


I should also note that it's clear that the Texas plaintiffs cast their argument as one regarding partisan gerrymandering, and as a result, Vieth and Larios may indeed inform the resolution of their claims. Why they characterized their theory as one of partisan, rather than racial, gerrymandering, I'm not sure. I haven't followed the case closely enough to gather all the facts, but there must be some reason that plaintiffs' counsel rejected the racial gerrymanding theory. In the earlier opinion, Judge Ward dissented as to District 23 on the racial/partisan gerrymandering theory offered the first time around.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:55 AM on December 2, 2005


Does it matter? People argue on the internet.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:55 AM on December 2, 2005


Point conceded vis-a-vis "controlling opinion" (*shoots self*). But I would argue that the holding is the same: the opinion in Bandemer, which was the only cognizable framework upon which one could analyze a political gerrymander.

I still disagree with your analysis regarding the difference between a political and racial gerrymander, and I do so for the same reasons that Scalia rejected it. The protections of the VRA for minorities exist to protect the segregation of the minority districts and the resulting vote dilution. The tests for determining that is well settled law. The comparison breaks down, though, when the districts are drawn not for that purpose but for political purpose. Martin Frost losing a safe seat isn't diluting minority votes, unless you assume that racial identity is linked to party allegiance. That is, if the amount of minorities in a district is not diluted, but Martin Frost's chances are not as likely because of how a district is drawn, then you don't have a racial gerrymander unless you assume that minorities must vote for Martin Frost. That is a question which the Court isn't going to address.

Or to put it another way: if the District is 25% minority, 50% white Democrat, and 25 % white Republican (25% minority, 75% white). But is redrawn to be 25% minority, 24% white Democrat, 51% white Republican (25% minority, 75% white). That is not a racial gerrymander; the analysis of the Court's regarding the racial gerrymander would approve of such a district, but the intent was not to reduce voting power of minorities; the minority was not carved up. It only would be a racial gerrymander if you assume that the minority will necessarily be Democratic. That is the point I take Scalia to be making.

The question is not whether political gerrymander is constitutional. The question is whether it is an inherently political act, thus a political question that Court's are not capable of analyzing.
posted by dios at 11:08 AM on December 2, 2005


The corruption in this redistricting is grotesque.

I concede that. And that applies to all redistricting. I hope you join me in moral opposition to the practice in toto and also to call for the rejection of Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims.
posted by dios at 11:12 AM on December 2, 2005


Why they characterized their theory as one of partisan, rather than racial, gerrymandering, I'm not sure. I haven't followed the case closely enough to gather all the facts, but there must be some reason that plaintiffs' counsel rejected the racial gerrymanding theory.

I don't the answer to that question. I would have at least plead in the alternative. Though I am pretty sure that the racial issue was previously argued to no avail, and though it was litigated, it was found that there wasn't anything in the plan that runs afoul of the typical racial gerrymander analysis. So perhaps the Plaintiff in Henderson figured that he would aim for the exceptional circumstance that Kennedy alluded to.
posted by dios at 11:15 AM on December 2, 2005


And that applies to all redistricting.

Oh, bullshit. A number of states have nonpartisan committees that redraw district lines. Moreover, Delay and his aides are up to their eyeballs in filth. To say that your standard, run-of-the-mill post-census redistricting is equivalent to this piece of garbage in terms of corruption is simply false. By any standard.

I still disagree with your analysis regarding the difference between a political and racial gerrymander, and I do so for the same reasons that Scalia rejected it.

But Scalia doesn't disagree with me. Look again at the graf you cited: "That does not alter the reality that setting out to segregate voters by race is unlawful and hence rare, and setting out to segregate them by political affiliation is (so long as one doesn't go too far) lawful and hence ordinary." (again, my emphasis).

Or to put it another way: if the District is 25% minority, 50% white Democrat, and 25 % white Republican (25% minority, 75% white). But is redrawn to be 25% minority, 24% white Democrat, 51% white Republican (25% minority, 75% white). That is not a racial gerrymander; the analysis of the Court's regarding the racial gerrymander would approve of such a district, but the intent was not to reduce voting power of minorities; the minority was not carved up.

Clearly. I don't think that anyone is arguing that your example--which is a bit contrived, I might add--is racial gerrymandering. The problem is that we have in this case minority-strong districts which were split to reduce the percentage of minority voters in each district. Is that not the case?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:19 AM on December 2, 2005


Dios wrote:
Fair enough, I was wrong that the census didn't come out until 2002. I looked to see where I got that impression and it was from the fact that there was no plan produced in 2001 by the Texas Legislature.

I do not have perfect recollection of the timing, but I seem to remember that there was no plan in 2001 because there was too much opposition to bring it forward. In 2002, the plan was advanced and the Democrats fought it vehmently. At some point between 2002 and 2003, there was the act by Texas Democrats of leaving the state to avoid a vote.

Thus, though I was wrong about the census coming out in 2002 (it was the plan that I recalled did), the underlying point was salient: the redistricting which ultimately passed was the 2000 census redistricting. It was just delayed because they couldnt' get it done faster.

Of course, this entire timeline is all complicated by the fact that the Texas Legislature only meets every two years to consider new bills and has to go into special sessions to handle carry over business.
So basically, every point you made up to, and including most of this post was "revisionist history".

The Census data came out in 3/2001, and the TX legislature had it. The bit about how you arrived at your (fabricated) conclusion is kinda like listening to Bill Richardson conclude, after copious research and investigation, that he had not, in fact, been drafted by Kansas City to play pro ball.

In between your data points in 2001 and 2002, the courts ruled on a redistrciting plan, subject to appeal to the Supreme Court. "Neglected to mention" that.

The "salient point" was that it was the second act of redistricting in this decade, as the courts ruled on plans agreed upon by the TX Senate and House.

And to top it all off, you yourself stated that the proper challenge to redistricting was in courts, then have the chutzpah to argue in favor of a second, legislative plan that overrode the courts (and ignored the unanimous advsory of a panel of five attorneys and two analysts.)

All of which was paid for with tainted money, and using federal DHS resources to fight their partisan battle, I might add.

I hope you join me in moral opposition to the practice in toto

And oppose Article 1, Sec. 2 of the US Constitution? You said (correctly, though a strawman): Redistricting is Constitutionally required.

You are gonna spin off the surface of the planet on this one.

Simple question, and if you can give a simple yes or no answer I'd understand where you're coming from a bit better: Knowing what you know -- do you support the TX redistricting scheme as implemented? Yes or no?
posted by edverb at 11:37 AM on December 2, 2005


And that applies to all redistricting.

Oh, bullshit.


Well, that is merely my opinion. I think all redistricting based on Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr is wrong because those opinions were improperly decided judicial fiat.

Clearly. I don't think that anyone is arguing that your example--which is a bit contrived, I might add--is racial gerrymandering. The problem is that we have in this case minority-strong districts which were split to reduce the percentage of minority voters in each district. Is that not the case?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:19 PM CST on December 2


My example was certainly contrived to prove the point that I think Scalia makes in Vieth (and partially in that graf I cited, though I could have included others).

The example is to make the point that the racial gerrymander analysis cannot be used (or confused) with a political gerrymander analysis. The only way it could is if you assume racial identity to be linked to partisan voting. I think Stevens asserts something similar to that in his dissent. But the finding of the district court and the panel that reviewed it and approved it was that there was no racial gerrymandering. There was certainly partisan gerrymandering. But nothing that runs afoul of the racial analysis.

The example I included was intended to show the distinction and show problems with an effects test because it makes assumptions about voter preferences.

Example A:
District 1
Before: 40% minority, 20% white Democrat, 40% white Republican.
After: 29% minority, 20% white Democrat, 51% white Republican.

District 2
Before: 18% minority, 20% white Democrat, 62 % white Republican
After: 29% minority, 20% white Democrat, 51 % white Republican

That is a classic racial gerrymander. Minorities were carved out of the district 1. There voting power was diluted by a reduction of numbers.

Example B
District 1
Before: 25% minority, 50% white Democrat, 25% White Republican
After: 25% minority, 24% white Democrat, 51% White Republican

District 2
Before: 10% minority, 13% white Democrat, 77% white Republican
After: 10% minority, 39% white Democrat, 51% white Republican

Example B would be a political gerrymander. It doesn't run afoul of any racial gerrymander rules. Carving up people based on political identity and not race is not violative of the VRA. The only argument that it could be is to argue that minorities must be Democrat. Note, if you assume in the above examples that they are Republican, Example A would still be a racial gerrymander, and Example B would still be a political gerrymander, but minorities would have no beef with example B.

Full disclosure: I actually live in the fabled district that is Pete Sessions' district (my last ballot was Sessions vs Frost).
posted by dios at 11:49 AM on December 2, 2005


So basically, every point you made up to, and including most of this post was "revisionist history".

No, it was called a mistake based on a faulty recollection. My salient point was that it was the first legislative redistricting based on the census.

The "salient point" was that it was the second act of redistricting in this decade, as the courts ruled on plans agreed upon by the TX Senate and House.

Again, that's not correct. The judically drawn map was due to the need for one in the 2002 elections, but it was not an official Congressional redistricting.

Simple question, and if you can give a simple yes or no answer I'd understand where you're coming from a bit better

Let me respond by saying this: if you want to direct questions to me and have me respond in the same, you are going to need to do so without being so insulting. I'm not inclined to respect a direct question coming from someone who has shown a desire to be nothing but insulting to me.
posted by dios at 11:53 AM on December 2, 2005


Dios: I concede that. And that applies to all redistricting. I hope you join me in moral opposition to the practice in toto and also to call for the rejection of Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims.

I don’t think so. If I understand them correctly, those cases helped to alleviate a century of voter abuse that suppressed the black vote and did not follow the law as outlined in the 14th amendment. Not only were the judgments in Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims necessary, but long overdue. Besides, population growth is always going to necessitate redistricting.

This particular redistricting in Texas is grotesque, because it is a perversion of the statute which affords equal voter protection under the law in the 14th amendment. It pits a Hispanic Republican against a White Democrat (Martin Frost) and disenfranchises a bunch of Minority voters (Frost’s district was dismantled) using a law that was supposed to protect them from this, that’s really the razor blade in this apple isn’t it? It goes something like this.

Delay: “We pull this off we got 5 extra seats in the U.S. House. Hell let ‘em come against me, I’ll bring down voter Equal protection in the whole country, and then we'll have some REAL fun” Probably didn't think he'd be out on bail when it happened eh?
posted by Skygazer at 11:59 AM on December 2, 2005


Dios: "I'm not inclined to respect a direct question coming from someone who has shown a desire to be nothing but insulting to me."

I don't think edverb has been insulting to you at all. He's argued with you in a civil and thoughtful manner. Basically (and this relates to my questions above) I think we'd both like to know what your feelings are about this redistricting? You already agreed with me you find it "grotesque", but do you support it?
posted by Skygazer at 12:15 PM on December 2, 2005


Dios, avoiding direct questions about your position isn't a tecnique. It means you're a coward.
posted by bardic at 12:24 PM on December 2, 2005


My salient point was that it was the first legislative redistricting based on the census.

But, your position was that if remedy wasn't to be found in the legislature that the proper place was the courts. That was your argument (at least, it was until someone pointed out that the courts had ruled on the matter based on the 2000 census already.) Cornered, you narrow the definition to say "legislative redistricting based on..." but the fact remains, it was resolved, and to take it up again was unprecedented.

Now it appears it was deemed illegal under the Voting Rights Act, an advisory which was swept under the rug by GOP cronies.

It was your strawman argument that redistricting is Constitutionally required, but that you condemn the practice "in toto". Which is it?

I'm not inclined to respect a direct question coming from someone who has shown a desire to be nothing but insulting to me.

Dios, your condescending arguments and convenient "faulty recollections" were equally insulting if not moreso. The TX redistricting scheme is the most insulting slap in the face to democracy, and you're supporting and defending it, on the most narrow technical and rhetorical grounds.

I genuinely don't want personal argument, and I've said my piece. You know where I stand. If I was overbearing in making my case, I apologize. I just don't know what the hell you're supporting here or on what grounds, and it's frustrating to imagine that you could put your (admittedly) sharp mind to the purpose of diminishing minority voters. For what? GOP dominance? Is that it?
posted by edverb at 12:28 PM on December 2, 2005


""There's been a gentlemen's agreement over time by both parties that you only do redistricting in a year ending in one ... "

Well, there's your problem right there. In order to have a gentlemens' agreement, you must begin with gentlemen.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:28 PM on December 2, 2005


your position was that if remedy wasn't to be found in the legislature that the proper place was the courts.

No, that was NOT my position. The legislature has the duty to pass a redistricting plans (except in those places where the power is ceded to another body---that isn't so in Texas). The proper remedy for challenging a legislatively passed redistricting plan is in the courts. But if it isn't passed the first time it goes up for a vote, the remedy is that it is altered and resubmitted for a vote.

Now it appears it was deemed illegal under the Voting Rights Act

It was approved by Justice department and on multiple occasions by federal courts. But you refer to it as being "deemed illegal" because of an advisory opinion?


you're supporting and defending it

Where? Where did I support it, endorse it or anything of the like?

This is why I called you insulting: because you are. You assume that you know what I am talking about, but don't. You suggest I support conclusions that I haven't stated. You suggest that I have moral problems when my stated position is different than your assumed conclusion. You tell me that my legal arguments are faulty right after saying you don't know the law. You take something that I admitted I misspoke and try to beat me over the head with it despite the fact I tried to clarify my position. You question my motivations in what I say. You suggest I am "spinning" or just engaged in rhetoric. Those are all rude things to do. I have not insulted you once. You call me "condescending," why? Because I speak about something I know a little about? You are being rude, and then you demand a response to a question which should be self-evidently clear since I have said on multiple occasions that I disagree with all redistricting based on the flawed judicial fiat of Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr.
posted by dios at 12:39 PM on December 2, 2005


FWIW, it seems that redistricting is exactly the sort of thing the judiciary should be involved in, always. The process is inherently political and transient (demographics-wise). To argue that the VRA can only come into play when blacks are being physically lynched at polling places is a misreading of it as law, and just kind of a weird position in general. I understand that racial disenfranchisment =! necessarily political disenfranchisement, but c'mon, how daft do you have to be to not see what was going on in Texas?

Do you have any concerns in the real, messy, non-theoretical world? I admire your wish to keep politics and legal theory separate, but to ignore the smell of rubber hitting the road all of the time is strange.

And BTW, your legal reputation takes a hit every time you "conveniently" forget critical information about the things you present arguments for. Some might find it disinegenuous, given your self-generated sterling credentials for debating all things lawyerly.
posted by bardic at 12:43 PM on December 2, 2005


Dios: Where? Where did I support it, endorse it or anything of the like?

Which is why I asked a direct question and requested a simple yes or no.

You tell me that my legal arguments are faulty right after saying you don't know the law.

I said "slippery" as in -- you are supporting this unethical power grab on narrow legal technicalities. You were sure to regard me as though my moral objections weren't legally sound...pretty slick:
If you have a moral or political objection to them, fine. But if you want to make a legal argument, then don't be conclusory on topics which are way more nuanced than that.
Where did I make a legal argument? I don't make legal arguments, Dios. Nice try squeezing me into a little box of your own creation though.

You take something that I admitted I misspoke and try to beat me over the head with it despite the fact I tried to clarify my position.

Misspoke?

Where did you get this?
Edverb: It is unprecedented to redistrict in years not ending in "1", after each census.

Dios: This is incorrect. The 2000 census didn't even come out until 2002.
You simply made it up, to contradict an opposing fact! The fact is, TX had the data, it had come out, and redistricting is typically done in years ending in one.

You told me, and this thread, that I was wrong!

Misspoke, my ass.

Dios -- give us the reader's digest version: do you support it? Yes or no.
posted by edverb at 1:02 PM on December 2, 2005


I have said on multiple occasions that I disagree with all redistricting based on the flawed judicial fiat of Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr.

See this is where things get screwy. Please clarify those cases as you understand them and their relation to the 14th amendment. Because what it seems you're saying is that your not against the results of the Tx redistricting, but that you are against the spirit (or means), no matter how perverted for political ends, by which those results were achieved.
posted by Skygazer at 1:19 PM on December 2, 2005


I hope you join me in moral opposition to the practice in toto and also to call for the rejection of Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims.
posted by dios at 2:12 PM EST on December 2 [!]


Strange how redistricting is a — to quote you — "Constitutional requirement" you defended in another thread when done by Texas Republicans, but here, in this very thread, redistricting becomes a moral abomination when done by anyone else.

What exactly is your stand? Why has it changed?
posted by Rothko at 1:31 PM on December 2, 2005


Because what it seems you're saying is that your not against the results of the Tx redistricting, but that you are against the spirit (or means), no matter how perverted for political ends, by which those results were achieved.
posted by Skygazer at 3:19 PM CST on December 2


I never said anything about supporting the results. In fact, I have on multiple occasions stated my personal beliefs regarding the propriety of these redistricting. Why is hard to understand that I have been engaged in a legal analysis of the lawsuit as opposed to a moral discussion about how evil Tom DeLay really is?

See this is where things get screwy. Please clarify those cases as you understand them and their relation to the 14th amendment.

Redistricting is a constitutional duty under the Guarantee clause. Prior to the Warren Court, there was no problem with redistricting. But the Warren Court in Baker and Reynolds make two rulings that had no basis in the law and by sheer judicial fiat, created the unworkable situation now. First, the Court decreed that all state legislatures had to be apportioned like the House of Representatives; they ruled that no state legislature could be apportioned in a manner such as the United Senate is. Second, the Court decreed that one person, one vote was the law of the land despite having no legal basis for that and its inherent inconsistency with our government. The Court said that states couldn't have districts that represented regional interests, or be broken down by county or other political unit. As such, both houses of state legislatures have to have these ridiculous districts. And the ridiculous districts are required because of the entirely made up "one person, one vote" principle.

"One person, one vote" may sound great on a bumper sticker, but it is absurd to suggest that it is a constitutional requirement. For one, it would nullify the Senate. What's more, if that were the principle, we couldn't single member plurality districts like we do. We would have to abolish all districts and have at large elections. The sheer existence of one person, one vote nullifies the ability to use districts. But even if "one person, one vote" was the principle, it would be violated by other devices, such as the legislative committee system, the filibuster, the requirement for super majorities or quorums---all of these things gives some representatives, and those they represent, more weight in determining outcomes than others. Quite simply, "one person, one vote" is entirely inconsistent with our political structure. What worse, is that its application leads to the concept of gerrymandering as states are required to make these ridiculous districts. Please note: not having the "one person, one vote" rule does not lead to Jim Crow disenfranchisement. The VRA still gives everyone the right to vote and prevents vote dilution based on race. But if we dump the principle, then districts can be drawn reasonably instead of oddly. At the very least, states would be able to make reasonable decisions based on whether to have a house like the Senate and represent regional interests.

Basically, the judicial fiat led to this mess, and the practice of redistricting has become worse because of it.

Hopefully that explanation will people from making uninformed comments as if they think they have caught me in some sort of logical inconsistency.

On preview: I guess not.
posted by dios at 1:58 PM on December 2, 2005


A bit of a derail, but I have a problem with some of the comments in this thread. Basically, imagine you have two players playing chess, with a third watching. If player 1 castles illegally, and the observer notices this, it's not necessarily out of desire for player 1 to lose, but could be out of respect for the game itself.

Attacking dios's beliefs for bringing an outline of a legal argument to a clearly morally-loaded issue doesn't necessarily mean he's trying to choose a winner, or even choosing a side with that argument. I don't even see any reason that he has to contribute his particular stance on the moral aspect of this issue -- the case references are more of a contribution than another "x is Evil" statement in my opinion...

Finally, even if dios's moral belief is diametrically opposed to your own, it's still possible that knowing a bit more about the legal options available makes it more apparent what would need to be done to effect the situation you desire, at least more so than another "x is Evil" comment.
posted by agent at 2:03 PM on December 2, 2005


I never said anything about supporting the results.

I'm afraid that the record shows that you did. Your response was in direct challenge to my previous statement that redistricting was politically motivated and should not have been done.

You indicated then that it was mandated by the Constitution, ergo that there was nothing wrong it: You supported redistricting in that case, or at least made the appearance of supporting it by arguing against my opinion that it should not have been done, irregardless of legalities.

Hopefully that explanation will people from making uninformed comments as if they think they have caught me in some sort of logical inconsistency.

I'm simply quoting your previous statement on the matter, which is not consistent with your current position.

The obvious difference is that your previous position correlated with one political viewpoint, and your new position correlates with complaints about a different political viewpoint.
posted by Rothko at 2:08 PM on December 2, 2005


Now see this here thread is much more enjoyable. Much less “dios worships Chthulu” nonsense, much more cogent reasoning.

I don’t see how anyone can favor a disaster like this.
This political appointee bullshit pisses me off. It’s the politicizing of the system itself. The rules themselves.

Isn’t this the case where the Texas Democrats left the state? If it is, as I remember, that redistricting map was way,way out of line. And I’m from Cook County.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:13 PM on December 2, 2005


dios: You tell me that my legal arguments are faulty right after saying you don't know the law.

Now how could anyone possibly think that, considering that you don't even know what a "controlling opinion" is? Some people.
posted by spiderwire at 9:36 PM on December 3, 2005


Another interesting point: Shelton T Bradshaw, the asst dep attorney general that signed off on the back-room Republican plan in order to get it passed over the objections of the analysts who wrote the memo cited in the FPP is now... wait for it...

Was given one of the "top three spots," chief counsel, at the FDA.

You're doin' a hell of a job, Braddie!
posted by spiderwire at 9:48 PM on December 3, 2005


....or.... heckuva job! Sorry, still learning crony lingo.

oh, and here's what Shelton's been up to at the FDA. what a great deal -- and all he had to do was sell out dios' vaunted Neutrality Of The Law by disenfranchising a few thousand nonwhite people!
posted by spiderwire at 10:02 PM on December 3, 2005


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