Supreme Court rejects challenge to Texas state legislative maps

By Ariane of Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to Texas state legislative maps that critics say intentionally dilute minority voting power and result in illegal racial gerrymandering.

At the center of the dispute is Senate District 10, which is centered in Fort Worth in Tarrant County. The challengers argued that the map had been redesigned to make it more Republican and “more Anglo”.

A three-judge district court panel conducted four days of hearings and found that while the state Senate’s new map may “disproportionately affect minority voters” in Tarrant County, and although the legislature was able to give “pretext reasons” for its redistricting decisions, the challengers could cite no evidence that the “true intention of the legislature was racial”.

Voting rights groups have asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, arguing that the district court set too high a standard when it asked challengers to show race predominated in the new drawing. They say all they had to show was that race was a factor when crafting the maps.

In a separate case before the court that term, judges grapple with a case it could make it harder for minority voters to challenge claims of gerrymandering and could further the court’s deconstruction of the Voting Rights Act.

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