I lifted the Tom DeLay quote of the day from Talking Points Memo. You can read the whole transcript here, or just marvel at my carefully selected quote:
“We’re supposed to, by Constitution, apportion or redistrict every 10 years. The state legislature in Texas couldn’t do it in the last legislature, and three judges did it and they did a very poor job, as evidenced that the fact that we have a minority of Republicans in our congressional delegation.”
Now, first off, that’s a lie. We’re supposed to enumerate; it doesn’t say anything about redistricting. Article 1, section 2 says:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative…
And Amendment XIV says:
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
There’s nothing about Congressional districts in there. It just says that states get Representatives in proportion to their populations. (And he does mean the US Constitution; go read the full transcript.)
So, first off, DeLay is a big fat liar.
That said, yep, it’s a horrendously gerrymandered state. In 2002, 1,885,178 people voted for Democratic Congressmen and 2,290,723 voted for Republican Congressmen. And there’s a Democratic majority in the Texas delegation?
This combination of lying and accuracy is what gets me about major party politics.