Texas Republican Rebukes Colleagues Over Gerrymandering


The United States is not only seriously divided, it is being carved up into a multitude of bizarre-looking districts to capture the White vote. Politicians assume it will maintain their standing as the ruling party in spite of Republicans’ decreasing numbers, but even some state Republicans say that Texas has violated the Voting Rights Act. For longtime Texas state Senator Seliger, this is certainly not his first political boundaries rodeo. He submitted a sworn declaration to the federal court calling out the redistricting members for dismembering District. 10, which included Ft. Worth. The Republican-dominated state Legislature excluded most Black and Hispanic voters from the newly drawn District 10:

‘[S]ome Black and Hispanic populations previously in District 10 were split into two other districts with majority-white electorates. The Black and Hispanic voters who remain in the newly drawn District 10, in urban areas of south Fort Worth, were lumped in with several rural, mostly white counties to the south and west that drive up the district’s population of white eligible voters while diminishing the number of voters of color.’

Seliger, asked the federal judges to toss the newly designed district changes before the upcoming March primaries.

Democratic state Senator Beverly Powell said in her declaration this past November, according to The Court Listener:

‘Having participated in the 2011 and 2013 Senate Select Redistricting Committee proceedings, and having read the prior federal court decision regarding SD10, it was obvious to me that the renewed effort to dismantle SD 10 violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.’

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The three-judge federal panel will take a look at how the district was redrawn as part of the new lawsuit. It claimed the redrawn Tarrant County District 10  discriminated against voters of color.

The Texas Tribune reported on Seliger’s statement about holding the new state Senate SD-10 authors responsible. It called the redistricting “more of a concern than it was an assertion” of whether there was a violation:

‘When you draw a map that essentially takes out minorities or, in what was more the point, take out the chance that there would ever be a Democrat elected there, was there a violation?’

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He continued:

‘It’s not an assertion on my part because I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but that was my concern about Sen. Powell’s district — to take that district and completely change it and it still marginalized minorities in that district.’

Seliger pointed out the “context” was important. Yet, the SD-10 was absent any racial data:

‘The Voting Rights Act says if you can create a district in which a historically marginalized minority can elect a candidate of their choice, you must draw that district. You start with that principle in every single district.’

As part of his deposition, Seliger indicated that he was not responsible. Powell had given the redrawn map to him. Still, he said he stood by the statements that were included:

‘Is everything exactly the way I would have written it? I can’t tell you that. I doubt it, but it was perfectly acceptable.’

Seliger pointed his own new district map in the Texas Panhandle. He lost several counties and added another dozen more. And now he has a primary challenger. That was when he decided to not run again.

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The legislators’ chief map-drawer and Houston Republican Representative Senator Joan Huffman consistently claimed the committee was “race-blind.”

The lawsuit challenging SD-10 will not go to trial until this fall.

Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.

Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads a chapter from her book of the same title. She also writes for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in process). Find her here on Facebook.