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Chron story on Harris County redistricting

County Commissioners are shocked and dismayed to learn that there are people who would question their ability to do whatever they want to do.

The county released an amended map on Friday, having gathered community input on the initial map at four public hearings.

Rodriguez and fellow plaintiff Rey Guerra said its changes were insufficient to stop their suit, however. The new map would put the Latino population in Precinct 2 at 58.2 percent, more than the initial map but less than current levels.

“This lawsuit makes no sense to me,” said Commissioner Steve Radack, who represents Precinct 3. “This is like suing a surgeon for malpractice before they even operate on you.”

[…]

Assistant County Attorney Doug Ray said the amended map “does reduce the amount of retrogression they’re complaining about.”

But it doesn’t eliminate it, which is the whole point of the lawsuit. It’s a rather curious admission to make, since it basically validates the plaintiffs’ arguments. And as for Radack, if the surgeon told you he was going to amputate your left leg when all you wanted was to have a boil lanced, I’m pretty sure you’d take action before he got the chance to do something to you that you didn’t want him to do.

The amended plan moves two precincts on the north edge of Kingwood that had been proposed for Precinct 2 back to Precinct 4, where they are today.

The map also moves five precincts in the Aldine area from the proposed Precinct 1 to the proposed Precinct 2. Five other precincts in the Aldine area would be split, with a portion going to Precinct 1 and a portion going to Precinct 2.

“If it meets Justice Department standards, it doesn’t matter who files suit — the Justice Department is who we have to satisfy,” said Commissioner Jerry Eversole, who represents Precinct 4.

All that’s being done here is to point out what needs to be done to ensure that the Justice Department is satisfied. It’s unfortunate that the Court refuses to recognize this, but some lessons just need to be learned the hard way. Greg has more.

UPDATE: The Chron editorializes against the Commissioners’ proposed map.

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  1. […] and Stace attended today’s Commissioners Court meeting, where to nobody’s surprise the slightly-less-but-still-retrogressive new redistricting plan was unanimously approved. And why shouldn’t it be? It took care of the […]

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