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Government/Politics

U.S. Supreme Court Set To Hear Texas Redistricting Case

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Ryan Poppe

In less than a week, U.S. Supreme Court justices will hear a Texas redistricting case that has been floating through the federal court system for almost a decade.

On Tuesday, plaintiffs’ attorneys will make their case that the Texas Legislature intentionally discriminated against minority voters when it designed the state’s House and congressional voting maps by breaking up sections of minority voting districts and grouping them into Republican-led districts.

 

At a special redistricting forum hosted by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, those involved in the redistricting challenge spoke about a range of topics, including possible court outcomes.

 

Attorney Jose Garza outlined for the audience the number of scenarios that could take place once the Supreme Court makes its decision.

 

“The simplest one that could lead to real quick action is that the court denied to hear the case based on jurisdiction, which is one of the issues it has retained. In which case we are then back at the district court,” Garza said.

 

Garza said that would force the federal district court in San Antonio to begin looking for a way to redesign the maps, but more than likely not before the 2018 midterm elections in November.

 

“I mean, the most likely scenario is that we are going to have election in 2018 under the current plans,” Garza said.

 

Garza said the court could also reverse the district court’s decision that the maps were drawn with intentional discrimination and demand that case be reheard or it could simply strike down their challenge.

 

Supreme Court justices will hear oral arguments for the case Tuesday, and legal experts predict the court will return with a ruling sometime in June.  

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1