Supreme Court to Decide Texas Voting Maps

The seven-year long legal battle over Texas voting maps finally comes to a head this month.  The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments April 24 in the case challenging the Texas election maps as racially discriminatory. 

The legal battle began in 2011, when the legislature drew up new maps to reflect the 2010 census.  Minority rights groups challenged the maps, claiming they unfairly dilute and minimize the voting rights of Black and Hispanic voters.  In 2012, a San Antonio federal court drew up a compromise map to be used for that election, and in 2013 the legislature adopted it in place of the 2011 map.  But opponents continued to challenge, claiming the court's map was still discriminatory.  Last year, a federal court agreed with that sentiment, throwing out the 2013 map.  The state challenged that ruling to the Supreme Court, and here we are.

Harris County Republican Party Chairman Paul Simpson believes the case has dragged on so long, it's almost moot at this point.  "We've been operating under the court’s drawn lines (since 2013), so this is not about getting new maps when we're only two years away from the next census," he tells KTRH.  "This is about liberal groups who can't win at the ballot box trying to win at the courthouse and put Texas under federal control, and I hope the Supreme Court doesn't let them get away with it."

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling by June, but that could adversely affect this year's elections in Texas.  "We're already in April, and the runoff elections are next month, and then it's off to November, so let's just hope the courts don't disrupt this election cycle," says Simpson.

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