Texas Districts: Hold 'em


Rick Hasen, a law professor who runs the thoughtful and informative electionlawblog.org and who seems to be a Democrat, has an interesting post on Slate as to why Democrats should not wish the Supreme Court to overturn the Texas redistricting.

It's a good, solid contribution. Also, it's not clear that the substitution of the Texas districting proposal ordered by the three-judge federal court in 2001 for the DeLay plan passed by the legislature in 2003 would result in Democrats gaining more than a seat or two. The court plan did follow the contours of the 1991 partisan Democratic design (except for awarding Republicans the two new seats Texas gained in the reapportionment following the 2000 census). Even so, several Democrats held on in 2002 and earlier elections largely because they enjoyed the advantages of incumbency. But they were beaten or chose to retire in 2004. And even in the old districts, the new Republican incumbents would probably hold an advantage. Exception to the rule: Martin Frost, the 26-year incumbent and Democratic leader who lost in 2004 in the 32nd District, which was very different from the 24th District in which he won in 2002.