The district court left most of the map unchanged. But it did make two significant decisions–one active, the other passive–in the Metroplex, and it did so for no apparent reason.
The first major decision involved Craig Estes’s district. It changed Estes’s district from a rural district anchored in Wichita County to a suburban district anchored in Denton County. The change in the nature of the district imperils’ Estes’s future. Denton County is not going to be thrilled about being represented by a senator from Wichita Falls when Denton is the population base. I would not be surprised if a serious challenger to Estes emerged in Denton County.
The other decision involves Wendy Davis’s district. Davis wanted the Court to add the heavily Democratic boxes in East Arlington to the district. It didn’t happen. As a result, Davis’s chances of staving off two Republican challengers have been damaged.
The question, “What was the Court thinking?” comes to mind. It makes no sense at all to turn a rural district into a suburban district, as occurred in Denton County. Certainly the Voting Rights Act did not require it. On the other hand, it makes considerable sense under the Voting Rights Act to restore the East Arlington boxes to Davis’s district.