Supreme Court to Consider Texas Redistricting Case
Supreme Court to Consider Texas Redistricting Case
The top of U.S. Supreme Court building is lit at dusk in Washington U.S
14 January, 2018, 12:42
This comes after years of controversy and litigation surrounding the district maps, which were first legally challenged in 2011 after the Texas Legislature drafted new state and congressional districts to keep up with the state's quickly expanding population.
There are 1 comment on the Reuters story from 7 hrs ago, titled Supreme Court takes up fight over Texas electoral districts.
The lower court in San Antonio ruled that the 27th and 35th Texas congressional districts went against the Voting Rights Act by attempting to weaken Hispanic voters' influence in the GOP-controlled 27th district and had relied too heavily on race in preserving the Democrat-controlled 35th District. Texas voters will choose candidates in the March 6 primaries according to the current districts, but the Supreme Court's ruling is not expected until summer, when primary winners will be campaigning in advance of the November general elections.
The state's congressional and statehouse maps were struck down by federal courts previous year after judges ruled they intentionally discriminate against minorities.
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Acting on the Texas appeal, a divided court blocked efforts to redraw the maps in September to allow time to consider whether to grant Texas' request to overturn the rulings.
The same court also found similar issues with the maps that were drawn for the state's House of Representatives districts in August. Previously, there were two separate cases: One for the state's congressional map, and one for the Texas House map. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton "applauded" the Supreme Court's decision, adding that the state is "eager for the chance to present our case before the Supreme Court" in a statement.
And the court's docket might soon expand. On Friday, the court announced that it combined the two appeals and will hear oral arguments this spring. "This is a welcome development on the eve of MLK weekend, when we should all reflect on how discrimination continues to exist".
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