The Texas attorney general’s office and a coalition of minority groups announced a deal Wednesday on one of three disputed electoral maps, a step forward in resolving when Texas will hold its primary elections. Texas holds the country’s second largest number of delegates in the presidential race, but is unlikely to influence the Republican nomination because a dispute over the state’s political maps has pushed back the primary, originally scheduled to be part of next month’s Super Tuesday contests. Election administrators told a three-judge panel that the soonest reasonable date now is May 22.
Attorneys for the state and minorities in the Fort Worth area told the federal judges in San Antonio that they had reached a deal on state Senate maps, but that would apply only to the 2012 elections. Eight other groups continued to contest the Texas House and congressional districts. The congressional maps are critical because Texas is adding four seats next year and who wins them could decide which party controls the U.S. House.
While the compromise was only a small step toward a deal, it represented at least some progress after months of legal jousting that has reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The two sides didn’t exactly come back to the bargaining table on their own terms. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia on Tuesday night ordered them to return the next morning with a deal, sounding as though he was losing patience with weeks of stalled talks despite repeated court-ordered negotiations.
Full Article: Partial deal reached in Texas redistricting case.