The State Capitol is a lot quieter now that the special session is over and it looks like it will stay that way for a while. The Texas Attorney General’s office will not ask Gov. Greg Abbott for a second special session over the state’s redistricting fight.
The federal panel of three judges presiding over the case in San Antonio challenged the state’s congressional voting maps from 2013. They ruled that the maps were drawn to intentionally discriminate against minority voters and that the state violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act.
The court then ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to provide an answer on how the state plans to proceed by either requesting the governor call another special session or have the courts redesign the congressional districts belonging to Republican Blake Farenthold and Democrat Lloyd Doggett.
Marc Rylander with the Attorney General’s Office says Paxton filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, asking that they overturn the San Antonio court’s decision.
“The motion also advises that Gov. Abbott respectfully declines the court’s invitation at this time to ask the Legislature to take up redistricting," Rylander says.
Jose Garza is an attorney with the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, one of the groups representing plaintiffs who sued the State of Texas. The court has yet to release its opinion over the 2013 State House District maps, which are also being reviewed for intentional gerrymandering based on race.
“There is no finality yet, but the way the law is structured, the state can do piecemeal appeals. But there is no injunction, there is no remedy for that violation yet," Garza explains.
Both sides will get a chance to present their redistricting plans on how they’d like these maps to appear before the three-judge panel in San Antonio on Sept 5.