The Supreme Court this morning refused to reverse the Tom DeLay redistricting plan that handed Republicans six House seats in Texas two years ago.
Writing for just a plurality of the justices, Anthony Kennedy said the Texas Legislature's decision to rewrite a court-drawn plan in the middle of a decade was not "sufficiently suspect to give shape to a reliable standard for identifying unconstitutional political gerrymanders." Kennedy said that the Democrats who had challenged the DeLay plan had not shown a "legally impermissible use of political classifications" and stated "no claim on which relief may be granted for their statewide challenge."
There was one bright note for the Democrats; the court said the Texas Legislature will have to redraw the lines that carved about 100,000 Hispanics out of a district where a growing minority population posed a risk to incumbent Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.