Oct 19th - 10:45 am
Texas is appealing a district court ruling rejecting the state’s redistricting maps. The Attorney General’s Office formally filed the appeal to the Supreme Court, Friday.
Among its arguments, the state claims there is no evidence that the state intentionally drew discriminatory maps. Attorney General Greg Abbott accuses the court of relying on circumstantial evidence focused on party affiliation, rather than race. The brief also argues there is "no direct evidence" the Texas legislature was motivated by "a discriminatory purpose."
Under the voting rights act, Texas is required to have any changes to election law precleared by either the Department of Justice, or the district court. Abbott opted to submit the maps directly to the court, rather than the DOJ. The brief filed today also includes a request that the court consider the constitutionality of Section 5 of that act.
The Supreme Court will now have to decide if it will hear the case. In the meantime, interim maps drawn up by a three-judge panel in San Antonio will be used in the November 6 election. If Abbott’s appeal is granted, the maps drawn up last session will be used until the next census. If it is denied, the state legislature will take up redistricting once again when the session convenes in January.
Attorney General Abbott released this statement, today:
"The State of Texas is appealing this case because the lower court improperly extended the Voting Rights Act beyond the limits imposed by the Constitution and created new standards that have never been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court. The maps enacted by the Texas Legislature satisfy all necessary legal requirements, so the judges in Washington, D.C. simply created new requirements in an attempt to justify their rejection of Texas’ maps. In order to ensure the Texas Legislature’s maps apply to the next election cycle, the State is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case and override the lower court’s flawed decision during the Court’s current term."
Here is the full brief:
Aug 30th - 2:11 am
YNN’s Paul Brown caught up with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott after speaking to the Texas Delegation Wednesday morning.
Abbott commented on the decision made by a federal appeals court in Washington D.C. Tuesday to reject the most recent legislative district maps.
“We were offended by yesterday’s decision because it goes beyond the outer bounds of where redistricting law had been before, and we believe it actually contradicts what the U.S. Supreme Court said earlier this year,” he said.
Abott says he believes the Supreme Court will overturn the decision made by the three-panel judge but says he doesn’t think it will have any effect on the upcoming general election.
“I don’t think anyone has to be concerned about either elections or districts right now because the elections this November will take place based upon the interim maps,” he said.
As to Abbott’s political future, he said he’s focused on the campaign to elect Mitt Romney because he said this election will not only affect us but also the next generation.
He said Wednesday’s crowd was, “fired up to vote Mitt Romney in and get Barack Obama out.”
Check out the video above to see what more Abbott had to say.