Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom DeLay

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The events of 2003 in Texas were important to the political history of this country. Congressman Tom DeLay led a Republican effort to gerrymander the state's thirty-two congressional districts to defeat all ten of the Anglo Democratic incumbents and to elect more Republicans; Democratic state lawmakers fled the state in an effort to defeat the plan. The Lone Star State uproar attracted attention worldwide. The Republicans won this showdown, gaining six additional seats from Texas and protecting the one endangered Republican incumbent. Some of the methods used by DeLay to achieve this result, however, led to his criminal indictment and ultimately to his downfall. With its eye-opening research, readable style, and insightful commentary, Lines in the Sand provides a front-line account of what happened in 2003, often through the personal stories of members of both parties and of the minority activist groups caught in a political vortex. Law professor Steve Bickerstaff provides much-needed historical perspective and also probes the aftermath of the 2003 redistricting, including the criminal prosecutions of DeLay and his associates and the events that led to DeLay's eventual resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives. As a result, Bickerstaff graphically shows a dark underside of American politics-the ruthless use of public institutional power for partisan gain.