Redistricting Decision Impact - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/29/06 - Texas

Redistricting Decision Impact

Time is a factor over Wednesday's U-S Supreme Court ruling affirming most of the pro-Republican Texas congressional map. A spokesman from the Texas Attorney General's office says, "The United States Supreme Court conclusively rejected broad challenges to the Texas congressional redistricting plan. Although one district must be partially redrawn, the overall contours of the map adopted by the Texas Legislature were affirmed by the U. S. Supreme Court. The Constitution gives elected legislatures primary responsibility for drawing congressional districts, and the Court made clear that the Texas Legislature was fully within its constitutional authority when it adopted a congressional plan that more fairly represents the demonstrated preferences of Texas voters."

But part of the updated map failed to protect minority voting rights in District 23 and must be redrawn. Justices ruled that the 2003 redistricting of the 23rd Congressional District in Texas prevents Hispanics from choosing their own congressman. But the high court set no deadline for the issue to be resolved.

State election officials say the decision will have to be made quickly to meet the ballot certification deadline 62 days before the November Seventh election -- or in time for special elections that would have to be called before August 29th. The Texas attorney general's office says the timeline and procedure for redrawing District 23 will be addressed by a three-judge federal panel.

For a copy of the high court's ruling go to ktre.com's "Know More on 9" section.

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