This post has been updated since we issued our Breaking News alert.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a pair of Texas redistricting cases during its current spring term.
The state appealed lower court rulings invalidating two congressional and nine state House districts. A federal panel ruled that the Legislature in 2011 drew them intentionally to discriminate against minority voters. Defects from those 2011 maps persisted into maps drawn by the court and ultimately adopted, with minor modification, by the Legislature in 2013. Those rulings were stayed by the high court in September, and those stays remain in effect until the high court rules.
“We are eager for the chance to present our case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which ordered the district court in San Antonio to draw lawful congressional and House maps,” said Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton in a statement. “The lower court’s decisions to invalidate parts of the maps it drew and adopted are inexplicable and indefensible.”
A separate appeal by the Texas Democratic Party was not addressed by the high court. The Democratic Party sought to have the maps tossed on partisan gerrymandering grounds. Nonetheless, party chair Gilberto Hinojosa welcomed the development. “We will again be before the Supreme Court to examine Texas Republicans’ stacking of the deck through systematic discrimination against people of color,” he said in a statement.
Given the anticipated timetable for this case’s disposition, it is highly likely that the current maps will be used for this year’s election.
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