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 December 13, 2023

Supreme Court leaves door open for challenge to Texas voting map

The Supreme Court declined to intervene in a Texas case that leaves the door open to redrawing the state's congressional map in Galveston County.

The Tuesday order adds to a growing push to change congressional maps in multiple states over allegations of racism.

The concern

"The dispute has gained the attention of voting rights experts across the county at a time when county-level officials are trying to redraw electoral maps and work to cement power after the 2020 census," CNN reported.

"Critics say what Republican officials are attempting in Galveston – which they say amounts to a stark racial gerrymander that dismantled the only Black- and Latino-dominant precinct in the county – could be replicated across the country in violation of the Voting Rights Act," it added.

Liberals dissent

"The court’s three liberal justices dissented from the decision not to stay an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit," the Washington Post reported.

"That order said the map drawn by Republican county commissioners could be used for two reasons: first, because the election was not far off; and second, because the appeals court could eventually overturn its past rulings that the Voting Rights Act in some cases permits the creation of majority-minority districts," it continued, pushing for the Supreme Court to intervene.

The controversy

"In 2021, the Republican-led County Commissioners Court eliminated the sole Black and Latino-dominant precinct when enacting a new redistricting map. Galveston County is predominantly white and Republican but Black and Latino voters in the area lean Democratic," Courthouse News Service reported.

"The dismantled precinct had been led by Stephen Holmes, the county’s only Black Democratic commissioner, for 24 years," it noted.

The move will now push any potential changes until after next year's primary vote in the state.

The ruling means that the Texas congressional map cannot be changed before the 2024 election, something Democrats in had pushed for, similar to legal battles in other states.

The battle is not over but the timeline has now shifted the focus on the case until after next year's primary in the state in a defeat to Democrats but also a possible future concern for conservatives.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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