Sunday, December 04, 2005

New Twist in Texas Districting Dispute - New York Times

New Twist in Texas Districting Dispute - New York Times: "The Justice Department acknowledged on Friday that top officials had overruled a determination by its civil rights staff in 2003 that a Congressional redistricting plan for Texas, advantageous to Republicans, would violate the voting rights law.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales defended approval of the plan, telling reporters on Friday morning that he was confident that the decision was correct. Conflicting views simply reflected a healthy deliberative process, Mr. Gonzales said.

The plan, which had largely been developed by Representative Tom DeLay and which was subsequently upheld by a three-judge federal appeals court panel, led to Republicans' gaining five seats in the House in the election last year.

Pointing to the court's acceptance, Mr. Gonzales said the skepticism of career lawyers did not 'mean that it was an incorrect decision.'

'Ultimately, someone has to make a decision,' he said. 'We're not going to politicize decisions within the department.'"


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