The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request to speed its review of a lower-court ruling that said several congressional and Texas House districts had to be redrawn because they discriminated against minority voters. The request, made by lawyers challenging the maps as unconstitutional, was rejected without comment in orders the Supreme Court delivered in the afternoon. A letter sent to the court on Sept. 15 requested an aggressive schedule, with all briefs submitted by Nov. 13 and distributed to the justices within two weeks, with no deadline extensions permitted. The goal, the letter said, was to have everything ready for the justices to discuss the case at their Jan. 5 private conference.
“This court’s disposition of these cases will determine the district boundaries for the 2018 Texas congressional and state House elections,” the letter said, adding that fast action would minimize disruptions should the high court agree that the 11 districts are discriminatory and must be redrawn.
A three-judge federal court panel from San Antonio ruled in August that nine Texas House districts and two congressional districts had to be redrawn because they were created by Republicans in the Legislature to intentionally discriminate against Latino and African-American voters, who tend to support Democrats.
Texas appealed, and the Supreme Court blocked the three-judge panel from beginning work on remaking the districts while Texas challenged the lower-court ruling. Candidate filing begins in mid-November for the March 6 primaries.