As far as court battles go, 2017 was a busy year on the voting rights front in Texas — and 2018 will likely be no different. After years of litigation, Texas and its legal foes — minority and civil rights groups and voters of color — begin the year waiting on the courts to rule on the fate of the state’s embattled political maps and voter identification requirements. Federal judges are also expected to have the final word on whether lawmakers intentionally discriminated against Texans of color in drawing up both measures. There’s no saying whether the cases will be resolved in 2018. But as the sides await a final resolution years after the measures were first enacted, the attention will ultimately fall on whether Texas will be placed back under federal oversight of its election laws.
Texas and the minority rights groups suing over the state’s congressional and House districts maps are waiting to hear whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling that invalidated parts of the state’s political maps where lawmakers were found to have discriminated against voters of color.
The holding pattern at the Supreme Court could end as soon as this month. The high court on Friday will meet to consider whether it will review the case. There’s no way of knowing if the court will immediately announce a decision regarding the case, but several outcomes are possible.