Bloomberg News

Texas to Ask Supreme Court for Emergency Stay of Voter Maps

November 26, 2011

(Updates with attorney general comment in second paragraph.)

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he will file an emergency stay with the U.S. Supreme Court to block the use of election districts drawn up judges and contested by the state.

“At issue is whether the interim maps imposed by a three- judge redistricting panel violate the U.S. Constitution and federal law, and exceeds the proper role of the judiciary,’’ Abbott said today in a statement.

Abbott said he would push for a quick ruling “so candidates will not needlessly file for office” based on “legally flawed” maps released this week by the federal court in San Antonio overseeing the state’s redistricting fight. Candidates may begin registering for Texas’s March 6 party primary elections on Nov. 28.

Yesterday, the San Antonio judges refused Governor Rick Perry’s request to delay use of the interim maps the court created for state legislative races. Today, the court finalized its previously announced interim districts for the U.S. House of Representatives, which the state also opposes.

Hispanic activists and the U.S. Justice Department claim voter boundaries created by the Republican-controlled Legislature were intentionally designed to prevent the election of Latinos.

Texas gained four new congressional seats after adding almost 4.3 million new residents since 2000. Hispanics comprised about 65 percent of that increase, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

The Texas case is Perez v. Perry, 5:11-cv-00360, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (San Antonio). The Washington case is Texas v. U.S., 1:11-cv-1303, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

For Related New and Information: Stories on Texas and politics: {TNI TX POL BN <GO>} Stories on Rick Perry: {NI ?1915847 BN <GO>} Top stories: {TOP <GO>} Menu of Bloomberg legal resources: {BLAW <GO>}

--With assistance from Tom Schoenberg in Washington. Editors: Sylvia Wier, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurel Brubaker Calkins in Houston at laurel@calkins.us.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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