Sovereignty and Responsibility

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On Tuesday, June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down section 4 of the Voter Rights Act of 1965. This new ruling formerly rightly restores the responsibility for protecting the right to vote on several states that were previously required to have federal oversight of their election laws. This ruling is a victory for state sovereignty, but with sovereignty comes responsibility. Which begs the question, is Texas ready and willing to accept that responsibility?

Every ten years our state legislature is tasked with redrawing district lines across Texas to reflect updated federal census data. Fairness and equity should be the goal in redrawing the maps, but unfortunately we see nothing but partisanship and animosity every redistricting year. While we did not wade into the redistricting news during the 82nd legislative session, we do want to point out the purpose of this process and how justice has been abused and neglected in this arena.


Districts are to be redrawn to accommodate population growth and are to be a fair and equitable representation of the demographics of each region. Unfortunately, this is a framing of the process you will never hear addressed under the pink dome. The process is always a school yard brawl between the two parties to wrangle as many votes and protect as many of their incumbents as possible leaving the voters of Texas walking off the field with black eyes and bloody noses. The tug of war between political parties over district lines, each trying to gain advantage over the other, needs to stop.

Additionally, the same view of equity should be applied to any election laws we choose to implement as a state (including the controversial Voter ID law passed in the 82nd legislative session and subsequently struck down by federal courts for being “intentionally discriminatory.”) Our goal should always be to protect the right to vote while guarding against disenfranchisement and discrimination at all fronts. Since 1965, the Federal Justice Department has had the final responsibility to ensure our state met this goal. That all changed with the June ruling. Now the responsibility to achieve that goal lies solely with our elected officials, and the responsibility to keep those elected officials in line lies with us, Texas citizens. Are we ready to shoulder that?

Those of us advocating for state sovereignty, as guaranteed under the 9th and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, must focus on leadership in Texas. We are yet to have a real discussion on the issues of justice and equity when it comes to redistricting and election law. The blame for this can be laid squarely at the feet of our leadership. The debacle in the Texas senate at the end of the first special session once again put on public display the ineptitude of those we’ve trusted with responsibility to protect citizens through lawmaking.

For too long, our elected officials have cared more about their political careers than the people of Texas they’ve sworn to serve.  We must work to raise up new leaders, to demand that those we’ve elected uphold their oaths, to insure as our Bill of Rights guarantees, equal rights and equality under the law. With every state-wide office up for election in 2014, Texans have an opportunity to chart a less turbulent course.  Let’s courageously accept the responsibility and run the course before us with determination to, under new leadership, return to the ideals of a representative republic, one that truly puts liberty, integrity and justice before the political future of politicians.

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Special Thanks to Debra Medina and staff for outstanding research on sovereignty and property rights and property taxes. Hat Tip to all! Formerly this content is archived and searchable here on Constitutional Liberty Coalition for reference only.

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