Lawyers in the Justice Department concluded that the Texas redistricting plan that Tom Delay lobbied for was illegal and violating the Voting Rights Act. They found that Delay's redistricting plan illegally diluted African-American and Hispanic voting strength in two Texas districts.
But senior officials (read: political appointees) overruled the career lawyers at Justice, and approved the plan.
Mark Posner was a longtime lawyer at DOJ, and now teaches law at American University. He told the Washington Post it is very unusual for the concurring opionion of DOJ lawyers to be overruled by political appointees in the Department.
"In this kind of situation, where everybody agrees at least on the staff level . . . that is a very, very strong case. The fact that everybody agreed that there were reductions in minority voting strength, and that they were significant, raises a lot of questions as to why it was" approved.