Redistricting: Plaintiffs in the long-simmering litigation over the state’s Congressional district boundaries have asked a federal court to block the use of the current map for the 2018 election. Two weeks ago, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas found that CD23, CD27 and CD35 were drawn with race as the predominant factor and thus invalidated. Those districts are represented today by U.S. Reps. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio), Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), respectively.
However, the court did not specify a remedy, and the ruling applied to the maps drawn by the Legislature in 2011 but never used. A federal court drew interim districts for the 2012 election and those were adopted by the Legislature in 2013. That map made no changes to CD27 and CD35, but the court did not address that map. The court also did not address the maps used for legislative districts.
Plaintiffs asked the court to order the Legislature to propose a new map by May 5 and for remedies to be in place by July 1. The case, Perez. v. Abbott, has languished for nearly three years since oral arguments were heard in San Antonio. U.S. District Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriguez signed last week’s ruling with U.S. District Judge Jerry Smith dissenting.
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