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In a 5-4 split, Supreme Court stays orders in Texas gerrymandering case requiring redrawn districts

U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday evening stayed federal court decisions requiring the redrawing of some congressional and state electoral districts in Texas because of racial gerrymandering.

The court’s newest justice, Neil M. Gorsuch, voted with the majority, report the New York Times, the Washington Post and SCOTUSblog. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would have denied the stay.

Civil rights groups were disappointed in the decision to grant the stay, which remains in place pending disposition of an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. The court action follows a temporary stay granted by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. on Aug. 28.

The stay blocked federal court decisions that required the redrawing of two congressional districts and several state legislative districts. The lower court had given the Texas governor three days to decide whether to call a special legislative session and said the state should be ready start work on redrawing the districts by Sept. 5.

The two congressional districts were drawn in 2011 and incorporated in interim maps drawn by the federal court after a court challenge. Texas had argued the maps weren’t discriminatory because the court had made them. The district court disagreed, reasoning that discrimination from the 2011 maps had carried over in the interim plan.

The case is Abbott v. Perez.

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