Supreme Court ruling halts Congressional, House district map redraw as Texas drafts appeal to lower court rulings

The  U.S. Supreme Court blocked two lower court rulings Sept. 12 that invalidated parts of the state's congressional and House maps.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked two lower court rulings Sept. 12 that invalidated parts of the state's congressional and House maps.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked two lower court rulings Sept. 12 that invalidated parts of the state’s Congressional and House maps where lawmakers were found to have discriminated against minority voters, putting on hold efforts to redraw those maps.

In a Sept. 12 press release, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the justices' 5-4 decision stays the ruling to require new maps as the Supreme Court takes up Paxton's appeal. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan dissented from the majority opinion.

"The Supreme Court confirmed what the rest of us already knew: Texas should be able to use maps in 2018 that the district court itself adopted in 2012 and Texas used in the last three election cycles," Paxton said. "In 2012, the Supreme Court ordered the district court to adopt lawful maps, and we believe it did so. We are eager to proceed with this case in the high court."

A three-judge panel in San Antonio ruled last month that the state’s congressional and state House maps needed to be redrawn to address voting rights violations, according to a report from the Texas Tribune.

Congressional District 35, which stretches along I-35 from Austin to San Antonio, was deemed illegally drawn because lawmakers used race as the predominant factor in deciding its boundaries. The boundaries of District 27 in Nueces County were also questioned for intentionally depriving Hispanic voters of their opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett stated in a recent press release that despite the Supreme Court’s decision, he would maintain his involvement in the community.

“I have always maintained that the Supreme Court would have the final say on local congressional district lines, and [Tuesday] the court just said it,” Doggett said. “Now there is certainty that [District] 35, which I have been fortunate to represent for over four and half years, will remain precisely the same for the next election. Filing for that election begins in only two months. I will maintain my active involvement in San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos, Lockhart and the other communities along I-35.”

As the 2018 election season approaches, the Texas Attorney General’s Office quickly appealed in an effort to keep existing political boundaries intact.


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