Last week we wrote a little about what was happening in the early days of Tom Delay’s criminal trial. To recap and then sum up last week, in their opening statements, prosecutors said that Tom DeLay took part in a scheme to illegally channel corporate money into Texas legislative races in order to strengthen his power and influence.
As a result of DeLay’s scheme, Republicans won a majority in the Texas House and then pushed through a congressional redistricting plan engineered by DeLay that would strengthen the Republican hold on Texas. Republicans won a majority in the Texas House in 2002 and congressional redistricting sent more Texas Republicans to Congress in 2004.
The 2003 redistricting was extremely controversial, particularly because of the role played by Delay. Texas had never undertaken redistricting mid-decade without it being ordered by a court. Legal challenges to the redistricting plan were mounted on several fronts. In 2006, the Supreme Court upheld the statewide redistricting as Constitutional, but struck down Congressional District 23 as being in violation of the Voting Rights Act’s prohibition of racial gerrymandering. (more…)