Sunday, October 9, 2011

Those Amazing Castro Brothers

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Julian and Joaquin Castro are poised to become significant political leaders in the United States for the next several decades.  The young men (age 37) are twin brothers who grew up in modest circumstances in San Antonio, Texas, where they attended public schools.   The brothers received their under-graduate degrees from Stanford University, and then headed off to Harvard where each earned a Juris Doctorate degree.  Today they are law partners in San Antonio.

But the Castro brothers, the sons of social activists, were not content with just practicing law.  Julian ran for and was elected to the San Antonio City Council.  He was elected mayor of San Antonio in 2009 and is still serving in that capacity.  Brother Joaquin set his sites on state government.  He was elected to the state legislature in 2002 and is currently serving his fifth consecutive term as a state representative.

Julian and Joaquin are both Democrats, and they each have a strong social conscience.

Joaquin Castro has now set his sites on Congress, but in order to make that bold political move he will have to defeat a revered political giant - 9-term Democratic congressman Lloyd Doggett of Austin.  The Texas Legislature has recently redrawn its congressional map and the net effect for both men is a new district that connects Austin and San Antonio.  Joaquin Castro has a huge advantage in Hispanic voters in the new district, and Lloyd Doggett has a huge advantage in cash-on-had - $2.8 million.   (Doggett has opined that the new district is "uncoonstitutional," and is headed to court to wage that argument.)

But if the new district remains intact, as is likely, the Democratic primary next March will be a real barn-burner.  My sense is that younger-and-more-dynamic will prevail over older-and-better-financed.  Regardless of the outcome, both Castro brothers have very promising futures and are certain to be players on the national political stage.  Either one (or both) could conceivably make it onto the U.S. Supreme Court or wind up in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Remember, you heard it here first!

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Doggett may as well use his campaign funds in court, it is likely he'll come up short there as well as at the ballot box.

In Texas there are two primary considerations the court will look at in a redistricting case.

First is the mathematical ideal standard. Each new districts should come as close as possible in raw numbers of population to the same count for each of the other districts. That's the one person one vote standard.

The second standard stems from the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. In Texas no district should be drawn which has the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on the basis of race, color, or language group. This list could be expanded to all suspect classification under footnote four of United States v. Caroline Products.

I have no doubt the math will be close enough to avoid serious scrutiny by the courts. Mr. Castro would be more likely to raise the abridgment claim, but it looks like Latinos are not harmed by the new district.

Lloyd Doggett is a good Democrat. I like the way he votes. Lloyd Doggett is turning 65 this month and the times they are a changing.