Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on the merits of the appeal challenging a pair of lower court rulings that invalidated two of Texas’ 36 congressional districts (27 and 35) and nine state House districts, which were drawn by a federal three judge panel. The Supreme Court blocked the lower court rulings from taking effect until it can hear the redistricting case, which has been set for oral argument on April 24.
“In 2012, at the Supreme Court’s direction, the federal district court in San Antonio drew the redistricting maps. Those maps were adopted by the Legislature in 2013 and used in the last three election cycles,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Now, we are seeing yet another attempt by unelected federal judges to override the judgment of Texas voters. The lower court’s decisions to invalidate parts of the maps it drew and adopted defy law and logic and cannot be sustained.”
In the merits brief, Attorney General Paxton told the Supreme Court that the Legislature had good reason to believe the court-ordered congressional and House maps were lawful when it adopted them in 2013.
When the Supreme Court put the lower court decisions on hold last September, it meant that no changes to Texas’ redistricting maps would be made ahead of the midterm elections. Attorney General Paxton argued at the time that allowing maps to be redrawn would throw “the Texas election deadlines into chaos for the second time this decade.” The state primary election is March 6.