Supreme Court To Hear Texas Redistricting Case Monday | KERA News

Supreme Court To Hear Texas Redistricting Case Monday

Jan 5, 2012

Legal teams preparing for Monday’s Supreme Court hearing over Texas election maps are gathering in Washington for a that fight pits the state and Republicans against Democrats and minorities.

The Texas Attorney General’s office will ask the Justices to approve a map adopted by GOP lawmakers.  It would likely give Republicans three of the four new Congressional districts in Texas. 

Democrats and minority groups say the legislature’s map disregards a surge in Texas’ Hispanic population.  They will argue in favor of election boundaries created by federal judges in San Antonio. Those judges created districts that provide a greater likelihood of Democrats and minorities winning three new seats.

Pam Karlan with the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) expects the Justices to quickly decide which maps to use this year.

Karlan:  The parties have told the Supreme Court that unless it issues some kind of decision there is no map in effect.  Texas can’t conduct its primary elections unless there is some map.

This redistricting battle is the reason primary elections in Texas have been delayed until April 3.

Because Texas has a history of discriminating against minority voters its election boundaries must be approved under the federal Voting Rights Act.  How the Supreme Court rules in the case of Texas and several other states could affirm or weaken the right of minorities to fight election maps.