SCOTUS agrees to hear Texas redistricting appeals

On January 12, the Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals by the State of Texas seeking reverse rulings finding that Texas’ congressional and state house plans intentionally discriminated against minorities and violated the Voting Rights Act.

The high court did not take action on appeals filed the Quesada plaintiffs that the district court seeking to revive partisan gerrymandering claims dismissed by the district court.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the Texas appeals in April and issue an opinion in late June.

A key fight in the appeals will over whether Texas intentionally discriminated in drawing its 2011 congressional and state house plans and, if so, whether the state cured any intentional discrimination when it adopted court-drawn interim plans on a permanent basis in 2013. If findings of intentional discrimination hold up, Texas could be placed back under preclearance coverage using the bail-in provisions of section 3 of the Voting Rights Act.

Because a ruling is not anticipated until June, the expectation is that it will come too late for any changes to the maps to be implemented for 2018 and that changed maps, if any, would be used for the first time in 2020.

More on the cases, including links to the pleadings and briefs, here.



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