Texas challenges court's redistricting map

Nov. 30, 2011 at 7:37 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Texas' top lawyer went to the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday to try to head off a court-ordered redistricting map that may help Democrats' congressional fortunes.

State Attorney General Greg Abbott requested the court prevent the implementation of an interim redistricting plan that would make it easier for Democrats to win three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in next year's elections, Roll Call reported. Texas picked up four House seats because of its population growth in the past decade.

State Republicans engineered their own plan this past summer only to have it contested in federal courts. After a trial in San Antonio at which plaintiffs argued the Republicans' version did not adequately reflect minority voting power, the court last week approved an interim map. Another trial is ongoing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Abbot contends the federal court in San Antonio went too far in drawing its own map before the Washington trial wraps up.

"The court's interim order should be immediately stayed, and the case should be remanded with instructions to withhold interim relief unless some likely violation of law is found and to defer to the legislatively enacted map as required by this Court's precedents," Texas officials said in asking the plan be halted.

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