Supreme Court denies request to block use of Texas election district maps

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday denied [order, PDF] a request by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) [advocacy website] for an injunction against use of Texas's interim Congressional and legislative district maps in the 2012 congressional elections. The court denied the request without explanation. LULAC asked [brief, PDF] the court to reject the maps last week, saying the interim maps "(ensure) a higher number of white districts and fewer black and Latino districts." Texas defended [brief, PDF] the maps on the ground that "all parties knew last February that the interim maps, not the legislatively enacted maps, were going to be used for the 2012 election cycle regardless of any decision in the preclearance case." The state said LULAC's attempt to change it now, after the primaries have already taken place and the general election is less than two months away, would have the effect of reversing the primary results and starting the election process over again.

The new interim maps were drawn in place of redistricting maps that were rejected [JURIST reports] by the Supreme Court in January. This ruling came after an emergency appeal [JURIST report] in December challenging a map drawn by the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website]. The 2010 census reported that Texas's population grew by 4.3 million people, giving it four new seats in the US House of Representatives [official website]. The Republican-run legislature then drew the new maps that gave rise to this current litigation. In December, the Obama administration urged [JURIST report] the Supreme Court to reject the redistricting maps because they were not precleared pursuant to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act [Cornell LII backgrounder]. Last month

 

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