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Supreme Court to rule on Texas redistricting plan

The US Supreme Court [official website] agreed [order list, PDF] Friday to rule on three Texas redistricting plans. The emergency appeal challenges an interim map drawn up by the US District Court for the Western District of Texas while a separate map drawn up by the state legislature is currently being challenged in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official websites] for compliance with the Voting Rights Act [Cornell LII backgrounder]. Two of the cases are titled Perry, et al. v. Perez, et al. and will deal with the Texas state House and the US congressional delegation, respectively, and the third case, titled Perry, et al. v. Davis, et al., deals with the Texas state senate. The justices set one hour of argument for all three cases for January 9.

According to the 2010 census, Texas' population grew by 4.3 million, which gave it four more seats in the US House of Representatives. The Republican-controlled state legislature redrew the congressional districts in a way that challengers claim would make it more likely for Republicans to win those new seats. The plan must be approved by either the Justice Department or a federal court under the VRA, and the Obama administration has objected to the plan. In the meantime, the federal court in Texas drew an "interim map" for use in the 2012 election. That is the map that is currently being challenged before the Supreme Court.

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