Partial Deal Reached in Texas Redistricting Case

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- The Texas attorney general and minority groups demanding equal representation have agreed to a temporary compromise over one of the state's three disputed political maps.

During a federal court hearing Wednesday in San Antonio, the state attorney general and an attorney for the minority groups said they had reached a deal on the state Senate map. The parties still haven't worked out a deal for state House and congressional maps, leaving the Texas primary date uncertain.

The Republican-controlled Legislature drew the disputed Senate map in a way to make sure one incumbent was not re-elected.

It also divided up minority voters into districts dominated by whites, something forbidden under the Voting Rights Act.

The compromise restores the district largely to its previous boundaries with a similar racial make-up.

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A federal judge has told Republican leaders in Texas to plan as though the state's primary will be May 29 because the long-running dispute over redistricting likely won't allow for it to be held any earlier.

U.S. Circuit Court Judge Jerry Smith on Wednesday did not officially set that as the new primary date. But the judge's guidance virtually extinguishes any chance of Texas holding an April primary.

A primary in May or later risks making Texas irrelevant in choosing the Republican presidential nominee.

Texas had been scheduled to take part in March's Super Tuesday, but the state's ongoing battle over voting maps derailed that.

Earlier Wednesday, the sides announced a deal on a temporary map for the disputed state Senate boundaries, leaving unresolved the state House and congressional maps.


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