Legal Battle Over Texas Redistricting Resumes

With the 2018 election looming, Texas is back in court over political maps.  A three-judge panel in San Antonio is now turning its attention on boundaries put in place four years ago per the court's order. 

Despite the court's approval, those maps are likely to change before the midterm elections.

“Perhaps just a bit different on the state House side, and I do think you'll see a couple of additional Latino congressional seats on the congressional map,” says Michael Li, senior counsel for redistricting and voting at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Li believes the Republican-controlled Legislature will at least get the opportunity to redraw districts before November's filing deadline.

“A special session on redistricting is likely at some point but the court would have the ultimate right to approve the maps or not approve the maps before they go into effect,” he says.

Minority rights groups claim state lawmakers intentionally discriminated against Latino and black voters.

“The district between Austin and San Antonio was found to be a racial gerrymander that was drawn predominately on the basis of race, so that district needs to be dismantled,” says Li.

“The Republicans of the legislature get to draw the map and will decide how to dismantle it and I expect they will try to draw a map that most favors Republicans.”

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