Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Supreme Court Rejects Texas Democrats' Appeal in Partisan Redistricting Case

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 12:56 PM

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Texas Democrats asking the court to determine whether Texas Republicans had intentionally drawn political maps to suppress Democratic voters (known as partisan gerrymandering).

Although the dismissal is a blow for Texas Democrats, the Supreme Court is taking up other partisan gerrymandering cases from different states — and their ruling on those cases could potentially lay the groundwork for limiting partisan gerrymandering in Texas down the line.

The move comes days after the Supreme Court agreed to take up a Texas case that could determine whether the congressional and state House maps were drawn to intentionally discriminate against voters of color. Last year, a three-judge panel in San Antonio ruled that two congressional and nine House districts were crafted to suppress minority voters.

The Supreme Court did not comment on the decision to dismiss the appeal.

"Today, the Supreme Court ruled that it does not presently have jurisdiction to hear a partisan gerrymander claim under the unique posture of this complex case," Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement after the dismissal. "Nonetheless, we anticipate an upcoming opportunity to continue our pursuit of justice for Texas voters."

Now that their appeal has been dismissed, any plan by Texas Democrats to revive the case will likely have to wait until the Supreme Court has ruled on partisan gerrymandering in other states.

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