Redistricting lawyers from all sides — the state and the parties suing the state — told a federal court Wednesday that maps used to elect the Texas Senate in 2012 are acceptable to them and could be adopted without objection.
But differences remain on maps used to elect the state’s congressional delegation and the 150 members of the state House, and the judges asked the lawyers for arguments on how to proceed.
The Legislature is currently considering whether to ratify maps drawn by the three federal judges and used in the 2012 elections. It became clear during Wednesday's hearing that the judges and the lawyers in the case agree that the Legislature probably can't make changes to the maps during the special session — given the charge for that session from Gov. Rick Perry.
The judges didn’t decide anything, though they asked the lawyers several questions about where things stand and how the cases should proceed. Questions include:
- If the Legislature adopts the court’s lines as its own, should the litigation underway in San Antonio stop and leave future arguments to other courts?
- Should objections to the state-drawn maps extend to similar lines in the court-drawn maps?
- Should new information about elections and demographics be used in putting new maps together if it wasn’t available to lawmakers when they first drew maps in 2011?
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