Fox News has just reported that the Justice Department has approved the redistricting plan passed earlier this year by the Texas legislature after the Democrats failed to stop it even by staging that shameful exodus to neighboring states. The courts are expected to follow DOJ’s lead on this one, since the legal question is a Democratic charge that the plan dilutes minority voting strength. (No link as of yet.)

While I opposed this move by the Republicans, thinking it set a terrible precedent, this will mean a likely gain of six or seven seats for the GOP in the 2004 House elections, all else being equal.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. You should probably get some history on it before thinking it is a “terrible precedent”. It sounds like you bought hook, line and sinker that this is a “mid decade” redistricting, when all this is is the 2000 redistricting finally getting settled.

    Or are you one of those people who think that a republican dominated state should be dominated by democrats?

  2. James Joyner says:

    The districts were gerrymandered more or less fair and square when the Democrats controlled the state legislature. Granted, under court order. But even George Will thought it a bad precedent to open redistricting up after the initial pass.

  3. Norbizness says:

    Rather than rehash the same arguments I’ve been going over for months, I’d rather link to a summary of the testimony of the (former) redistricting consultant to the Texas Republicans:


    In short: the GOP could have won 20 out of 32 seats under the 2001, but had 5 poorly run campaigns in districts that elected conservative Democrats. The new map is worse than anything previously seen; for instance, I’m in East Austin, and would now be in the same district as someone in Rio Grande City, nearly 250 miles away.