Supreme Court hits pause on Texas congressional, House map redraws

September 12, 2017 - 11:03 pm
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AUSTIN (KJCE) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has hit the pause button on long-running legal challenges to the state's congressional and House district maps.

The separate rulings Tuesday block two lower court rulings that invalidated parts of those maps. A lower court in San Antonio had ruled that lawmakers intentionally discriminated against voters of color. The 5-4 decisions by the Supreme Court put a hold on proceedings aiming to redraw the maps ahead of the 2018 election cycle.

Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissented from the majority opinion.

The maps in question - which were tweaked and approved by judges in 2012, earlier in this same case - have been used during the past three election cycles.

"The Supreme Court confirmed what the rest of us already knew: Texas should be able to use maps in 2018 that the district court itself adopted in 2012 and Texas used in the last three election cycles," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement Tuesday night. "In 2012 the Supreme Court ordered the district court to adopt lawful maps, and we believe it did so. We are eager to proceed with this case in the high court."

Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) represents one of the two districts invalidated by the lower court. "I have always maintained that the Supreme Court would have the final say on local congressional district lines, and tonight the Court just said it. Now there is certainty that CD-35, which I have been fortunate to represent for over 4 1/2 years, will remain precisely the same for the next election. Filing for that election begins in only two months. I will maintain my active involvement in San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos, Lockhart and the other communities along I-35."

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