My opinion is that the 2004 election will be a referendum on Bush. Like you said, it's all going to depend on what happens with the economy & Iraq. If Bush can't create any jobs by the time of the election, I think he's outta there no matter who runs against him.
But I have to wonder if anyone who bases their vote solely on a candidate's support of gay rights or abortion rights would even be voting Democratic to begin with??
I have to hope that Democratic turnout will be better than Republican. Even among Republicans, is there that much enthusiasm for Bush? I think (hope) there will be some apathy on the part of conservatives...
In 1994, the court ruled in Vera v Richards that three Texas districts (29,30, and 18) were not "reasonably compact."
The court allowed a district "that is reasonably compact and regular, taking into account traditional districting principles such as maintaining communities of interest and traditional boundaries...."
Yes, but look at the district shapes that were overturned in 94 -- like plates of spaghetti on a wall. This was the "old style" of gerrymandering, where it's obvious on the face of it that you're gaming the system.
The new TX map has some ugly spots like the 19th (Craddick is an ass), but overall the districts don't look any less compact than the old 4th, 5th, 15th, or 25th. The new 25th makes 4 stripe districts instead of 3, but it is clearly a new Hispanic district, which probably outweighs its length.
That is what *those* districts looked like. That doesn't mean that that is the only type of irregular shape. Note, too, the remark about "maintaining communities of interest." If they can provide evidence on both of these accounts, they could have a very strong case.
I think one of the strongest arguments against redistricting (which was addressed in the Motion - but it was not as developed as I would have liked) is a variation of the "one man - one vote" principal. As you know "one man - one vote" says that districts must have (more or less) equal population. Mid-decade redistricting is based on already obsolete census data, so there is no way to verify if the districts, WHEN CREATED, fulfill the "one man - one vote" criteria. If this prevails, then no mid-decade redistricting period, end of story.
I find that a weak argument. Federal Courts changed districts in the mid 1990s. Did they violate the one-man one-vote principle? Of course not! How can a Federal Court now claim redrawing districts mid-decade *does* violate the one-man one-vote principle?