Three days after a federal court ruled that Republican lawmakers drew congressional districts to intentionally discriminate against minority voters, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision and protect districts in Travis and Bastrop counties from having to be redrawn. In a separate filing Friday, Paxton asked the San Antonio-based federal court to delay enforcement of its Tuesday ruling while the appeal proceeds, arguing that a stay is needed to avoid disrupting the 2018 primaries. State officials have said that new maps would have to be ready by about Oct. 1 to meet deadlines for setting precinct lines and to allow candidate filing for the 2018 primaries to begin, as scheduled, in mid-November. If a delay is not granted by Wednesday, the state will ask the U.S. Supreme Court block enforcement, Paxton told the court.
… “Judges should get out of the business of drawing maps,” Paxton said in a written statement. “We firmly believe that the maps Texas used in the last three election cycles are lawful.”
The three-judge panel, however, ruled unanimously that Republicans in the Legislature drew maps that intentionally discriminated against Latino and African-American voters, who tend to favor Democrats, in violation of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.