U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court to Hear Texas Redistricting Case; Outcome Could Affect US House Control
Posted Dec 12, 2011 10:09 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide a redistricting case that could affect control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The court agreed to hear the case on Friday and scheduled oral arguments for Jan. 9, report the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. The Los Angeles Times calls the special scheduled arguments “an unusual move."
The case arises from U.S. Justice Department objections to two districts created in new electoral maps created by the GOP-controlled Texas legislature. The maps were redrawn to deal with the state’s growing minority population.
A special three-judge court authorized to hear redistricting cases by the Voting Rights Act had found that Texas used an improper method to determine districts favoring minority voters, the New York Times explains. The court said another court of federal judges in San Antonio should substitute an interim redistricting plan pending a trial; the Texas court obliged with a plan redrawing all 36 districts.
According to the Times, “The question for the justices is how much deference the San Antonio court should have given to the maps drawn by the legislature.” The case is Perry v. Perez.