- The Washington Times
Friday, January 12, 2018

The Supreme Court announced Friday it would hear a five-year long dispute between the state of Texas and minority groups over the state’s congressional district map.

The minority groups say the map, which produces an overwhelmingly Republican delegation, discriminates against African American and Hispanic voters.

A lower court had ordered Texas to redraw the map, but Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. stayed that ruling several months ago.

The battle over the map began in 2011 when the GOP-dominated state legislature drew up an original map, which was challenged in court. A judge then issued interim maps to be used for the 2012 election, and the state then adopted them in 2013 for the rest of the elections this decade.

But minority groups said the court-drawn maps were also discriminatory — and the court agreed, saying two of the 36 congressional districts it drew were actually illegal. The state House’s map was also challenged.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was happy the justices will settle the matter.

“The lower court’s decisions to invalidate parts of the maps it drew and adopted is inexplicable and indefensible,” Mr. Paxton said.

Thomas A. Saenz, president of Mexican American Legal Defense Educational Fund, which is representing several of the plaintiffs, said he’s also eager to get a final ruling after years of battle.

“We hope the court will act swiftly to vindicate the civil rights claims of Latinos and other voters of color in our second most populous state,” said Mr. Saenz.

The case is expected to be heard by the justices in the spring.

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