“Breaking: DC panel denies Texas’ request for summary judgment on preclearance”

Texas Redistricting Blog:

The DC panel issued an order this morning denying the State of Texas’ request for summary judgment on preclearance of state house, state senate, and congressional maps.

The order states:

Having carefully considered the entire record and the parties’ arguments, the Court finds and concludes that the State of Texas used an improper standard or methodology to determine which districts afford minority voters the ability to elect their preferred candidates of choice and that there are material issues of fact in dispute that prevent this Court from entering declaratory judgment that the three redistricting plans meet the requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

The court said that a memorandum opinion further explaining its ruling would be forthcoming.

This is a big deal.  Not only may it have the effect of delaying things and creating some confusion with the election.  Texas won’t be able to blame its problems on a Democratic Department of Justice, because this preclearance request is coming from the courts.

Watch as we’ll see Texas join Arizona and Florida in arguing now that section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.  This issue may now reach the Court sooner rather than later.

UPDATE:  You can read the order here.

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