Texas politics daily reading (21 November 2011)

Top Stories

  • Texas objects to federal judges' redistricting maps – Aman Batheja, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    Lawyers for Texas accused a San Antonio federal court Friday of overstepping its authority and ignoring voters’ interests with new legislative redistricting maps.

    Accurate on both counts.

  • State: Court overstepping authority on redistrict maps – Mike Ward, Postcards

    “Because unelected federal judges possess neither the constitutional power nor the political competency to make the policy choices essential to redistricting, the (U.S) Supreme Court has prohibited lower courts from disregarding the Legislature’s intention as expressed in an enacted redistricting plan, unless it is necessary to avoid a constitutional or statutory violation,” Abbott’s filing on the House maps states.

    His conclusion: The Legislature-drawn maps have no such violations.

    “The court’s proposed interim plan would eviscerate countless legitimate, considered judgments of the Texas Legislature,” the filing states.

    “Indeed, the court’s proposal denies the Legislature the presumption of good faith and legality to which it is entitled. Moreover, it does so without any explanation, much less a compelling or narrowly tailored justification for the race-based ‘remedy’ it imposes. The court’s proposal appears to reflect the policy choices of unelected federal judges.”

    The left (and too many journos) seems to prefer rule by our judicial betters to self-government.

  • Did Texas let guns 'walk' into Mexico? – Dan Freedman, Houston Chronicle

    ATF officials in Dallas remain adamant that there was no Fast and Furious in Texas.

    “This case has nothing to do with Fast and Furious,” said Thomas Crowley, spokesman for ATF in Dallas. “There hasn’t been any gun-walking in the Dallas division of ATF.”

    The records reviewed by the Chronicle, some of them obtained from Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley – who along with Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California is probing the Fast and Furious debacle – suggest the Zapata gun case instead may have been an instance of missed opportunities, intelligence-sharing failures and the inability to connect the dots and make arrests before the weapon was ever purchased in October 2010.

    The Chronicle has since changed that misleading headline, but the current headline still isn’t as clear as it might be. Let’s be very clear that it is not in dispute whether the STATE of Texas “let guns walk into Mexico,” but rather whether Eric Holder’s Justice Department also had an additional Texas component to its Fast and Furious fiasco. It’s not entirely reassuring that the excuse may simply be that the Dallas ATF was incompetent.

  • Dewhurst, Running in Front, Avoids Competitors – Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune
  • Ted Cruz Is a Test for the Tea Party in Texas Race – Kate Zernike, NYTimes.com


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