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Who’s your lawyer?

Ross Ramsey has a simple question.

Not this guy

Do you remember the name of the lawyer who advised the Texas House and Senate when they wrote the 2011 voter ID bill? That’s the law a federal judge in Corpus Christi found to be intentionally discriminatory on the basis of race. An appeals court told her to throw out a particular argument without retrying the case and come to a fresh conclusion. She did, and she came to the same conclusion: intentional racial discrimination.

Do you remember the name of the lawyer who advised the House and the Senate — and don’t forget the governor at the time, Rick Perry — on congressional and legislative redistricting after the 2010 census, counseling them as they drew lines to maximize their Republican advantage? The legal expert who would have said “too much” if he had thought his clients might’ve stepped in a legal cow patty? They stepped in it just the same: A federal panel ruled lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters.

The state has stacked up a run of losses that could throw it back under federal supervision — forcing the great state of Texas to tuck tail and ask the federal government for permission for every change it makes to its voting and election laws. This state and many others used to discriminate habitually and creatively — so much so that federal law included Texas in the list of states that couldn’t be trusted to take care of their own citizens with fair laws and fair districts that would have allowed them to take part in the great democratic franchise, to choose the people who represent them.

Remember that lawyer’s name?

That would be Greg Abbott, in case you hadn’t figured it out. Now as noted in the article, it was ultimately the Republicans in the Lege who passed those bills, and for all we know they may eventually get bailed out by the Supreme Court. But still, you’d think a better lawyer might have given them better advice. No wonder Abbott hasn’t had much to say about any of this.

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One Comment

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Don’t expect the same harassment of Texas by Uncle Sam now that The Donald is at the helm. Virtually every other first world country makes citizens show a government issued photo ID to vote. This isn’t some kind of off the wall Jim Crow style law. This is standard procedure in developed countries. It’s also the worst kind of paternalism to suggest that “people of color” are too stupid or too poor to get a state ID card from Texas, especially after the “free” voter certificates were offered that only a few hundred Texans actually applied for. Go ahead and tell POC in Acres Homes, Sunnyside, Denver Harbor, or 5th Ward that they are too poor and stupid to obtain a Texas DL or ID card and see what kind of reaction you get. Might want to make sure your O’Care premiums are paid up first, though.

    Now, if we were talking about gerrymandering districts, Tom Delay style, I’d say there’s an argument to be made that that has been or may still be an issue. No one will ever fully agree with district boundries, though, so there will always be unhappy people, no matter HOW they are drawn.