Federal court releases interim Texas redistricting plans after maps denied preclearance

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November 18, 2011

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By Jimmy Ardis

Texas:Texas' interim redistricting plans for the state house and state senate were released by a San Antonio federal court yesterday. Congressional maps are in the works. The maps aren't final yet and the court will accept objections and comments until today at noon. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office is reportedly developing comments for submission.[1]

Interim maps are needed so the 2012 elections can take place while the court undergoes a trial to determine the fate of the state's redistricting lines. A federal court in DC shot down Texas' original redistricting plans last Tuesday, denying the state's request for a preclearance summary judgement - making interim maps a must. The DC-based three-judge panel said that the methods used by the state to draw state house, state senate, and congressional maps were improper and in violation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The long awaited decision sets the stage for a potentially lengthy full trial in the West District of Texas.[1][2]

The house plan is H298 and the senate plan is S163. A second plan proposed for the house by Judge Walter Smith is H299. The court's proposed interim plans can be viewed by going to the Texas' District Viewer. The plans can be viewed by selecting "Overlay Plans" from the "Select Plans" drop down box at the top left of the viewer. From there select "Perez et al" from the categories drop down menu. The house plan is listed as PLANH298 and the senate plan is listed as PLANS163. Judge Smith's house plan is listed as PLANH299.[2]

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