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AG Abbott WIll File Emergency Stay Against New Maps

Illustration by Todd Wiseman for KUT News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is filing a request for an emergency stay with the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the implementation of redistricting maps issued by a federal panel in San Antonio.

The Attorney General is arguing that the interim maps drawn by a three-judge panel violate the U.S. Constitution and federal law by redrawing maps created by the elected legislature. The judges rejected an attempt by Abbott to suspend enforcement of the maps.

If a stay were approved, it would affect the election process in Texas. The filing period for candidates wishing to run in the 2012 elections starts Monday.

Some have criticized Abbott for his less-than-vigorous defense of the legislature's maps during the initial court hearings.

The interim Texas House maps appear to give Democrats the potential to gain seats from the current 49 members as high as 60 or more.

The Senate map appears to save the seat of Tarrant County Democrat Senator Wendy Davis.

The Congressional map could also benefit Democrats, particularly Austin's Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who under the maps drawn by the Texas legislature would have faced a tough challenge from San Antonio Democrat Joaquin Castro.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.