Supreme Court takes up fight over Texas electoral districts

The top of U.S. Supreme Court building is lit at dusk in Washington U.S

The state's congressional and statehouse maps were struck down by federal courts past year after judges ruled they intentionally discriminate against minorities. On Friday, the court announced that it combined the two appeals and will hear oral arguments this spring.

In a separate ruling about a week later, the same court ordered nine Texas House districts in Bell, Dallas, Nueces and Tarrant counties to be redrawn, saying they also were created to discriminate against minority voters. Either way, we'll have to wait and see. "Although we would have preferred the Supreme Court to let the cases proceed below to a remedy, we are heartened by the decision of the Supreme Court to leave open the question of its jurisdiction", Perales said in a statement.

Friday's action focused even sharper attention on voting rights at the Supreme Court, which is already hearing partisan gerrymandering challenges to districts in Wisconsin and Maryland, raising the potential for far-reaching changes to the way political districts are drawn. Last year, a three-judge panel in San Antonio ruled that two congressional districts (including San Antonio Congressman Lloyd Doggett's) and nine House districts were crafted to suppress Latino voters, and that the districts would need to be redrawn.

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-District 27, held by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, which the court said was improperly drawn to reduce the voting strength of Latinos.

The appeal from Texas is apart of an effort to bring back Republican-drawn electoral districts for congressional and state legislative seats.

State GOP leaders have argued the maps were drawn to favor Republicans, not to disenfranchise minorities.

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