Texas must pay more than $1 million in legal fees to groups that challenged the state’s redistricting plans, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled on Tuesday.
Texas forfeited any opposition to fees when it failed to make substantive arguments in the lower court, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said. A three-page advisory filed by the state—contending that Texas became the winner in the redistricting case after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder—didn’t cut it, Judge Patricia Millett wrote.
“Texas gets no second bite at the apple now,” Millett wrote. “What little argument Texas did advance in its ‘Advisory’ provides an insufficient basis for overturning the district court’s award of attorneys’ fees.”