Texas Redistricting Lawsuits Head to 5th Circuit, Date Set
Texas redistricting lawsuits are before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, reports The New York Times.
The legislators in the State of Texas, under a Republican supermajority, redistricted this year, carving out boundaries for the Texas Legislatures, the State Board of Education and Congress.
Shortly thereafter came the lawsuits, in cities and courts across Texas, including Austin, Sherman, McAllen and San Antonio, reports The Times.
The problems with the redistricting, some contend, is that the maps are drawn in such a way as to ensure a Republican victory in the upcoming elections, according to the Associated Press.
With most of the redistricting lawsuits being filed in San Antonio, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has designated a three-judge redistricting panel to hear the redistricting lawsuits. The three-judge panel will consist of Jerry E. Smith of Houston of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judges Xavier Rodriguez and Orlando Luis Garcia of the Federal District Court from San Antonio.
To complicate matters, the 2012 elections are nearing and the primaries are only a few months away. So the legislators and courts need to act fast. In the time before the elections, the cases all need to be gathered and possibly even consolidated in order to speed up the rulings and draw up district lines in time for the votes.
But it's not certain yet if the decisions will come down in time for the election and as such, the district lines could change again, leading to confusion among voters when their incumbents change.
The case will be heard in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on September 6.
- The Supreme Court's Recent Decision on Texas' Redistricting Plan: How It Supports Congress' Authority to Renew the Voting Rights Act (FindLaw's Writ)
- Search Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Cases (FindLaw Cases)
- Election Law, Government Ethics & Lobbying (FindLaw Library)
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