White House Aims to Protect New Texas Map
Fri Feb 17, 3:14 PM ET
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Friday granted the
Bush administration's request to join Texas in
defending a Republican-friendly congressional map
engineered by Rep. Tom DeLay.
The administration will share time with Texas lawyers
on March 1, when the court holds a special afternoon
session to consider four appeals that stem from the
bitter dispute over Texas congressional district
Justices are considering whether the
Republican-controlled Legislature acted purely for
partisan gain in 2003 when it threw out district
boundaries that had been used in the 2002 elections,
and whether the new map violated a federal voting
The Justice Department approved the plan although
staff lawyers concluded that it diluted minority
voting rights. The Bush administration asked the high
court last week for permission to participate in the
case, supporting Texas.
The redistricting helped Republicans win 21 of Texas'
32 seats in Congress in the last election, up from 15.
The congressional districts were redrawn after
Republicans took control of the state House in 2002.
DeLay, R-Texas, has been indicted on money laundering
charges stemming from his efforts to aid Republicans
in state legislative elections that year.
DeLay stepped down as U.S. House majority leader
because of the charges but denies any wrongdoing.
The cases are League of United Latin American Citizens
v. Perry, 05-204; Travis County v. Perry, 05-254;
Jackson v. Perry, 05-276; GI Forum of Texas v. Perry,
On the Net:
Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/