State Capital Highlights column, week of July 2-8, 2018

By Ed Sterling

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Texas redistricting maps
AUSTIN — The United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 on June 25 to approve 10 of 11 disputed Texas House and congressional redistricting maps used in the state’s 2014 and 2016 elections.
The court ruled that only Texas House District 90 in Fort Worth was gerrymandered along racial lines and therefore must be redrawn.
Except for the case of HD-90, the high court reversed findings issued by a three-judge panel of a San Antonio U.S. District Court in two cases known as Abbott v. Perez. Plaintiffs argued that Texas legislators intentionally gerrymandered certain districts to dilute the voting power of Hispanics and blacks, and in doing so violated the federal Voting Rights Act. 
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who represented Texas in its appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, called the ruling "a huge win for the Constitution, Texas and the democratic process."

"Once again, Texans have the power to govern themselves," Paxton said after the high court ruling.
Various redistricting boundaries have been in litigation since 2011, when the Legislature used the 2010 decennial U.S. Census to revise district maps.


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