I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to write about soon as the southern states scuttlebutt to ruin every ounce of progress the nation has made when it comes to voting rights just hours after the Supremes have decided racism doesn’t exist anymore. In states like Texas, that has had more than its fair share redistricting craziness, (along with constant lawmaking shenanigans), we already have seen what a disaster it can be. And it’s just going to get worse. From NPR:
“It looks like Congress’ last reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006,” said an audibly frustrated Nina Perales, civil rights litigator with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “Look at the Congressional Record.”
Perales told me Congress proved with 15,000 pages of documentation in 2006 that discrimination was still happening in the jurisdictions the coverage formula designated for pre-clearance. In other words: No need to fix what isn’t broken. Perales said every redistricting attempt in Texas (a state that was subject to pre-clearance) over the past five decades has been deemed discriminatory toward Latino voters. Perales had to rush off the phone because shortly after the SCOTUS ruling, Texas’ attorney general announced that the Lone Star State’s controversial voter ID law would take effect immediately. “Now we’re in meetings, figuring out how to respond to that!” she said.
Get ready for more of this, and don’t say you haven’t been warned:
Transcript thanks to this person.
Stewart: …Here’s the thing: here’s what I believe it is. It’s funny: when you criticize multi-millionaires — and I’m one of ‘em, and God bless me — but when you criticize that, they say that that is somehow “anti-capitalist,” and I think what you’re […] criticizing is [not] capitalism, what you’re criticizing is the idea that there’s almost like a wealth incumbency in this country. Let’s look at it in the way that incumbents get to Washington and then change the rules around to make it so that they get to stay in Washington as Congresspeople and Senators. I think the idea in the country is, very wealthy people have gerrymandered certain districts to create a wealth incumbency. Is that attacking capitalism, or is that attacking a perversion of capitalism?
Dobbs: No, actually, I think what you’re doing, you’re attacking federal judges in San Antonio, Texas, who went along with a redistricting plan for the entire state of Texas that the U.S. Supreme Court just had to overturn [PDF] because they were trying to create —
Stewart: You know I was creating a metaphor?
Dobbs: I know you were.
Stewart: But listen closely —
Dobbs: — and I was resorting to facts.
Stewart: No, no, no, no, no. But all they did was they said that a federal judge shouldn’t draw the districts himself.
Dobbs: Yeah, they really should. And they shouldn’t —
Stewart: They did say what the Republicans had done was unfair.
Dobbs: No, what the — no, no, no. What they said was that Democratic — that federal judges —
Stewart: Do you — in your heart, you believe that political parties change districts in a fair and measured way to help democracy and in no way do it to give one side an advantage?
Dobbs: No, not at all. What I do believe is, elections — as our President continues to remind us — have consequences, and that state legislatures, which are either Republican or Democrat, have that power and ability to redistrict and have done so.
Stewart: But don’t we have a responsibility when we see those consequences being used perversely to say, “Hey, man, that seems illegal”?
Dobbs: I think that’s what the Supreme Court just did with those judges who tried to apportion all of those districts in the state of Texas, not the 4 that were in question.
Stewart: Are they letting ’em keep, then, that districting map?
Dobbs: No, they’re not.
Stewart: Ahh! Because why? Why aren’t they letting them keep it?
Dobbs: Because the federal judges became activists and —
Stewart: No, no, no, why isn’t the Supreme Court letting ’em keep it? The Supreme Court is saying, “You’re right, but they have to redo the map, not you.”
Dobbs: No, what they said was, “You can only redraw 4 of the districts, and you have to use the legislature’s work product, and you can’t go to a full —
Stewart: How can you condescend to me when they said —
Dobbs: I’m not condesce—
Stewart: — there’s 4 districts they’re redoing?!?
Dobbs: Because they —
Stewart: There’s 4 they’re redoing!!!
Dobbs: Because they redistricted all of Texas!
Stewart: I know, and they redistricted all of it, and then they said, “Oh, and four of them are cheating”!
Dobbs: Well, four — well —
Stewart: “Well, it’s just four. It’s just four!”
Dobbs: What I think —
Stewart: That’s like saying, “I don’t mind capitalism, but I don’t like the idea that you get to take ‘carried interest’ at capital gains rates instead of 35%,” and you go, “Well, no, but most of the rules of capitalism are fair,” and going, “Yeah, but that one’s NOT!!”
Dobbs: No, but I’ve got a question. [audience cheers, Jon Stewart does a victory dance] Jon, forgive me for not being clear.
Stewart: [pointing to audience] This is not fair.
Dobbs: No, it is not fair, and I’m going to blunder ahead, no matter what.
Stewart: A judge should step in.
Dobbs: That’s right. And let me be the referee. The point being that those judges attempted to redraw all of the districts of the state of Texas —
Stewart: Right, when they should’ve only done four.
Dobbs: Four. Four. That was my point.
Stewart: Good case!
Dobbs: How do I end up defending 4 poorly drawn districts when my point was that they had no right to go beyond those 4?
Stewart: Oh, because your original point seemed to be that the federal judges were being “activist” in even getting involved —
Dobbs: They were! You may not —
Stewart: — I mean, in even getting involved.
Dobbs: You may not consider —
Stewart: In even getting involved.
Dobbs: No, not in getting involved —
Stewart: Well, there you go.
Dobbs: — but —
Stewart: So we agree?
Dobbs: — abusing their power.
Stewart: But it’s checks and balances, and then the Supreme Court went, “Actually, that’s too far” —
Dobbs: It’s checks and balances if they restrain themselves to the four districts in question; it’s abuse of power if they go beyond it.
Stewart: No, it’s checks and balances when another group steps in and goes, “Yeah, that was —”
Dobbs: The Supreme Court. Is that what you’re looking for?
Stewart: But that’s like saying, “Uh, yeah, this vaccine caused a problem,” then the FDA stepped in and said it’s a problem, and you’re, like, “See?” You’re like, “Yeah! That’s kinda how it’s supposed to go.” Isn’t it??
Dobbs: It’s —
Stewart: “They found a rat in a Subway and the health inspector shut it down,” and you’re, like, “Yeah, that’s his job.”