This Texas redistricting case, which advocates successfully argued in lower courts, proves that state legislative and congressional maps in Texas were drawn with the intention of discriminating against African-American and Latino voters.
A almost decade-long case of redrawing political districts in Texas is finally being heard by the Supreme Court. The court argued that the map violates the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment.
"We appealed directly to the US Supreme Court and we got a stay on what the district court had done". The courts response could potentially turn Texas slightly bluer.
Some of the conservatives on the court, including Chief Justice John Roberts, expressed some sympathy for the state's position.
"If the court rules against Texas, the justices would be saying that the Republican-controlled legislature had an improper racial motive", Josh Douglas, an election law expert at the University of Kentucky College of Law, said, according to CNN.
After a lower court ruled in their favor, the State fought back.
A year later, the Legislature redrew the congressional and legislative maps, largely basing them on recommendations made by the San Antonio court.
Douglas stressed that as the nation prepares to return to the drawing boards for state maps, the Texas case could set an important precedent moving forward.
Some of the conservative justices seemed willing during arguments in the case to accept that the Republican-led Texas legislature acted in good faith when it adopted new electoral maps in 2013 for state legislative and US congressional seats.
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"What does the piece of paper say here?" he asked Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, who conceded that there was no "magic word" of preliminary injunction. Until that day, however, the state's political parties, voters and interest groups will continue to battle it out over who gets to draw the lines and in what shape, as they did at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The Texas Legislature is not insane, Hicks offered, but it has shown it knows how to take on redistricting in way that diminishes the rights of voters of color.
"You have instances where the courts have said this is some intentional discrimination or there's unconstitutional gerrymandering", Rodriguez said in an interview on "State of Texas".
After making huge gains during the 2010 midterm election, Republicans were looking to solidify their control of the state - and even expand their majorities in Congress and in the state Legislature. And federal courts scolded the Texas Legislature for engaging in a pattern of racial discrimination in every redistricting cycle since 1970.
But some of the justices were concerned that following Texas' reasoning would lead the court's inbox to be flooded with appeals of lower court decisions.
While the high court reviews the district boundaries, Gov. Greg Abbott has sought emergency powers for an expedited special election in the Republican-leaning district. Five of those districts are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The 11 districts in question in the case include two congressional districts and nine state House districts.
With a Supreme Court ruling unlikely much before the end of June, along with the possibility of further proceedings by the lower courts, the challengers to Texas' political maps say time is running out on the prospect of any resolution in time for the November 6 midterm elections. Justice Kagan asked if that would still be an issue if the court had given Texas three weeks.
"50,000 appeals from the 93 - however many - three-judge courts there are", Breyer said.
No matter what the justices decide, Garza said, "the door is closing pretty fast".