The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear both of Texas’ redistricting appeals. The state’s congressional and statehouse maps were struck down by federal courts last year after judges ruled they intentionally discriminated against minorities.
“We are eager for the chance to present our case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which ordered the district court in San Antonio to draw lawful congressional and House maps in 2012 that the Legislature adopted in 2013 and used in the last three elections,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “The lower court’s decisions to invalidate parts of the maps it drew and adopted is inexplicable and indefensible.”
State GOP leaders argue the maps were drawn to favor Republicans, not to disenfranchise minorities.
Responding to an appeal by Paxton in August, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito temporarily blocked the lower court's ruling, which would have required the state to redraw the districts.
Experts say the timing of the move means Texas will likely not have new maps for congressional and statehouse elections this year. The state's primary elections are March 6.
“Today’s news again shines light on Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans’ pattern of discriminating against Texans of color,” Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement today. “This is a welcome development on the eve of MLK weekend, when we should all reflect on how discrimination continues to exist.”
Oral arguments haven't been scheduled yet.