The Supreme Court Puts Texas Political Maps on Hold

TEXAS (WBAP/KLIF News) – The United States Supreme Court handed a win to Republicans in Texas by putting rulings on hold that found electoral districts drawn by state lawmakers discriminatory against minority voters.

The court blocked two lower court decisions that found fault with congressional and state legislative districts drawn by the Republican-controlled state legislature.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement that said in part:

“The Supreme Court confirmed what the rest of us already knew that Texas should be able to use maps in 2018 that the district court itself adopted in 2012 and that Texas used in the last three election cycles.”

Political experts say it’s likely that Texas’ voting districts won’t change before the 2018 elections.

Southern Methodist University Political Science Professor Cal Jilson said Republican majorities in the Texas Legislature drew the districts to advantage Republicans.

“What the courts are objecting to was that minorities, blacks and Hispanics, vote mostly Democrat. So, if you disadvantage Democrats you are disadvantaging Hispanics and blacks,” he said.

Jilson said that’s when the courts can step in.

“The courts apply the voting rights act that say you can’t do that,” he said.

Election officials said they would need new maps by October to update them before the 2018 elections.

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