With that in mind, the House voted Thursday to adjourn until 2 p.m. Sunday for possible debate � which could go on beyond sundown � on any map approved by House-Senate conferees. House Speaker Tom Craddick said that if there is no map to be considered Sunday, the House would convene Monday.
Monday is Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement that begins at sundown Sunday. For Jews, the day is marked by fasting, daylong prayers and not working.
In an attempt to avoid a conflict with Yom Kippur, Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, on Thursday asked the House to adjourn until 8 p.m. Monday, when the observance would be over.
"I'm told by some of our members on the floor that they will have to be out of here by 3 o'clock p.m. (Sunday) so they can make their arrangements to observe the holiday," Dunnam told colleagues. "And I know and you know that we wouldn't do this on Easter."
Dunnam's motion was rejected, and the House, by a 66-35 margin, then voted to convene Sunday afternoon.
Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston and one of three Jews in the House, said he had informed the House leadership about the holiday conflict.
"The possibility is that I will have to either choose to not follow the teachings of my religion or not be here to vote on an important issue," Hochberg said.
"It appears that the desire for redistricting is so strong that respect for people's religious beliefs gets trampled in the process," he said.
I kind of hope that the redistricting drags out to Easter. Then we can see which God the GOP really worships. Or fears, in the case of Tom Delay.