Texas officials are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and temporarily block a controversial congressional redistricting plan from going into effect Monday.
The state's attorney general, Greg Abbott, filed an emergency "application" with the justices, saying a map approved by a federal panel in San Antonio is "fatally flawed." It would increase the number of districts dominated by minorities, especially Hispanic voters.
The court-drawn map was imposed after Democrats and minority groups in Texas challenged the original plan approved by the GOP-led state legislature.
Those seeking public office can begin filing their candidacies Monday, prompting the state's time-sensitive appeal to the high court. "Elections should not proceed based on legally flawed maps that are likely to be overturned on further review," Abbott said in a written statement.
The Supreme Court could allow the court-approved plan to remain in effect for now, or order the judicial panel to redraw the map, a process that could shorten the time candidates would have to campaign. The state's primary election is set for March.
Texas is getting four new congressional seats - more than any other state - after the latest census showed its population grew by 4 million people. The plan drafted by the three-judge panel would give minorities the majority in three of those congressional districts, and could give Democrats more seats statewide.FULL STORY