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3/02/2006

When is a majority-minority district not a majority-minority district?

Apparently, a majority-minority district is not a majority-minority district unless there is a big majority.

Justice Kennedy, addressing R. Ted Cruz, the Texas solicitor general, called the new district "a serious Shaw violation," a reference to the court's landmark 1993 case, Shaw v. Reno, that opened such oddly shaped districts to challenge as racial gerrymanders. The removal of the Mexican-Americans from the Laredo district, leaving the Latino population a bare statistical majority there but not numerous enough to control electoral outcomes, was an "affront and an insult," Justice Kennedy said. . . .

Texas violated the Constitution by "the excessive use of race," Ms. Perales said, particularly "to craft a razor-thin 50.9 percent Latino majority" in Mr. Bonilla's 23rd Congressional District. She said the Legislature chose to retain the narrow majority, down from 63 percent, to protect Mr. Bonilla and "give the false impression of Latino support." . . .


Possibly Bonilla's district should be referred to as a minority-majority-minority district, but what they want is a majority-majority-minority district. Or is it the reverse? I trust that I am no more confused than the Justices. You have to protect Hispanics from not all Hispanics agreeing with each other.

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