The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could not only require Texas to redraw its congressional districts, but give states a way to defend against claims of gerrymandering. This is the third case the justices will hear this term about how states draw legislative maps to gain a political advantage. Cases from Wisconsin and Maryland focus on whether those maps can be too partisan. The Texas case is a more traditional challenge to how state lawmakers draw the lines using voter data. The long legal saga over the Lone Star State’s congressional and statehouse maps stretches back to what state lawmakers decided right after the 2010 census. And the outcome now could influence how states draw new congressional maps after the census in 2020.
“The states always watch these cases very carefully because they’re trying to see how much they can get away with in redistricting,” said Danielle Lang, an attorney with the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center who filed a brief in the case.
Texas has challenged an August ruling by a panel of three district court judges that ordered a quick redrawing of the current congressional map, put in place in 2013. The panel found it unconstitutional because state lawmakers approved a map with intentional vote dilution in the 27th District and racial gerrymandering in the 35th District.
Full Article: Texas Congressional Map Comes Under Supreme Court Scrutiny.