Texas likely won't be forced to redraw electoral districts a court found were intentionally designed to weaken the influence of minority voters before the 2018 midterm elections. In a 5-4 decision along partisan lines Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted a request from Texas that it keep its congressional map, instituted by Texas Republicans in 2013, until the Supreme Court reviews a lower court's decision, reports the Washington Post. In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel ruled in August that two Texas congressional districts and state house districts in four counties discriminated against minority voters, who typically vote for Democrats, and therefore violated the Constitution and Voting Rights Act, per CNN.
The Supreme Court gave no reason for its Tuesday decision as is normal in such cases, per Politico. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had argued a different outcome would've put "the electoral process in disarray" since districts must be decided by Oct. 1. A voting rights attorney representing the case's challengers says she is disappointed by the decision but hopes the court later "realizes that Texas sought to purposefully minimize the political power of voters of color." One law expert tells CNN, however, that "the 5-4 split indicates that the map's challengers may have a tough time before the Justices when the (Supreme) Court eventually hears this case." Texas must first file an appeal to the August ruling. (Read more US Supreme Court stories.)