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Justice Alito temporarily blocks order for Texas voting map to be redrawn

Justice Alito temporarily blocks order for Texas voting map to be redrawn
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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Monday agreed to a request from Texas officials to temporarily block a lower court order directing Texas to redraw two of the state’s 36 congressional districts.

The case, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott v. Shannon Perez, centers on two districts in a court-ordered redistricting plan the state adopted in 2013, two years after its initial plans to draw the maps were challenged as racially discriminatory.

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On Aug. 15, a federal district court said the state intentionally tried to weaken the power of Hispanic voters by preserving congressional districts held by Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand GOP lawmakers: Obama admin ‘hastily’ wrote lead ammunition ban MORE (R) and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D).

The court gave state officials a choice: convene a special legislative session to draw a new congressional map, or show up in court on Sept. 5 with experts, map drawers, legislative staff and proposed remedial maps.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued in the state’s request for an emergency stay that the order has left the state “in an impossible position” due to the Oct. 1 deadline to provide templates of voter-registration certificates to election officials in each of the state’s 254 counties. Paxton said the state wouldn’t have sufficient time to prepare and mail the certificates to individual voters between Nov. 15 and Dec. 6, as required by the state’s election laws.

“After years of deliberation, the district court waited until a mere seven weeks before the October 1 deadline before declaring that the remedial map that was ordered by the court and governed the last three elections had latent statutory and constitutional defects,” the state said in its emergency stay request.