WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement today in response to the decision by a three-judge panel upholding new boundaries drawn for the State of Texas's 32 Congressional Districts:
"Americans of all political persuasions who believe that that fairness and equality at the polls are more important than the unchecked accumulation of political power will be as angry as I am by today's decision by a three-judge Federal panel to uphold Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting plan.
"In order to give the Republican party a leg up in what promises to be a highly competitive election year, Mr. DeLay used his considerable political power to squash the rights of minority and Democratic voters to create a Congressional map that may send more Republicans to the House of Representatives in November.
"The result is a map that, if upheld by the Supreme Court, may distort the political will of Texas voters, while sliding back to a shameful past when political leaders manipulated the law to deprive minorities of their voting rights. I am hopeful that the people of Texas will see through his power play and elect members to the House based on their fitness for office and ability to represent their best interests, not the party label they wear.
"The three-judge panel said that it was ruling on 'the legality [of the plan], not its wisdom.' Regrettably, the panel drew a false distinction in order to find a way to dispense with this politically charged case as quickly as possible. I am hopeful the United States Supreme Court will not repeat this mistake.
"I am confident that Texas Democrats will put up a tough fight to the end without regard to what the Congressional map looks like. Texas Democrats in the House are tested and tough, and they have a long record of serving their constituents with tremendous vigor."