Redrawing Texas Voting Maps Put On Hold; Texans Turn To Alternative Medicine

Redrawing Texas Voting Maps Put On Hold; Texans Turn To Alternative Medicine

Redrawing Texas Voting Maps Put On Hold; Texans Turn To Alternative Medicine

The justices gave no reasons in their one-paragraph statement granting a request from Texas that it not be forced to draw new districts until the Supreme Court reviewed the lower court's decision. The court's four progressive justices dissented, but were outvoted by the more conservative majority.

The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a serious setback to the efforts toward reconfiguring Texas' congressional district map before next year's elections.

"The record indicates not just a hostility toward Democrat districts, but a hostility to minority districts, and a willingness to use race for partisan advantage", the district judges wrote.

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U.S. Supreme Court blocks rulings forcing Texas to redraw Congressional and House maps, pending appeal. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had argued a different outcome would've put "the electoral process in disarray" since districts must be decided by October 1.

In practical effect, that is likely to mean that the legislature's maps that were found invalid by the trial court, already used in recent elections, could remain in effect well into 2018, and could be used in primary elections now scheduled for March. Its decision is likely months away. The state's current maps - adopted by Legislature after judges in 2012 tweaked boundaries drawn following the 2010 US census - have been used during the past three election cycles. The district court disagreed, reasoning that discrimination from the 2011 maps had carried over in the interim plan.

The Texas court's three-judge panel found that the 27th and 35th districts had been unfairly drawn to disadvantage the area's large Hispanic population.

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On the state House side, the court flagged nine districts in four counties - Dallas, Nueces, Bell and Tarrant - in which lawmakers diluted the strength of voters of color.

A lower court overseeing the redistricting cases called for a special session of the Texas Legislature to redraw the electoral lines.

The decision was yet another indication of the influence of President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who joined the court in April. Texas must first file an appeal to the August ruling.

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