A win -- mostly -- for DeLay's Texas redistricting plan

The Supreme Court rejects the Democrats' statewide challenge but says lines will have to be redrawn to avoid diluting the Hispanic vote.

By Tim Grieve

Published June 28, 2006 2:59PM (EDT)

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

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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