September 20, 2012
Supreme Court Rejects Effort to Block Texas's Interim Districting Maps
In perhaps the final chapter of the long-running saga involving Texas's congressional and state legislative districting maps, the Supreme Court yesterday denied a motion to stay the maps drawn by the Texas court after remand from the Supreme Court earlier this year in Perry v. Perez.
Here's our last post for background. Here's a thumbnail version (with links to many of our earlier posts):
- The Texas legislature redrew its congressional and state legislative districting maps in response to the 2010 census and to ensure that districts respected the one-person-one-vote principle.
- Texas, a "covered jurisdiction," filed for preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, but dragged its feet through the preclearance process. Call this the D.C. Court proceeding.
- Plaintiffs sued Texas for violating Section 2 of the VRA in federal court in Texas. Call this the Texas Court proceeding.
- The Texas Court found a violation and redrew the maps. Texas appealed. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Texas Court's ruling and sent the Texas Court back to the drawing board.
- The Texas Court issued new maps earlier this year--new maps that were based on the original legislature's maps, with some changes. Texas used these maps for its primaries earlier this year. No party to the litigation challenged its use of these maps.
- The D.C. Court denied preclearance to the legislature's maps. This left the most recent Texas Court maps as the only ones available. (Recall that the Supreme Court rejected the first Texas Court maps.)
- Texas is planning its fall elections around the most recent Texas Court maps.
The League of United Latin American Citizens asked Justice Scalia for an emergency stay. The Court yesterday rejected that request, without comment or dissent.
The ruling puts an end to the litigation and leaves the most recent Texas Court maps in place for the fall elections.
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