Supreme Court To Hear Texas Redistricting Case Today

Texas currently finds itself in the unusual position of having no valid congressional maps. Because it gained four new congressional seats, it could not use its existing maps even if the Constitution would permit it to do so. The map drawn by the state legislature has not been “pre-cleared” as is required under the Voting Rights Act because of concerns that it discriminates on the basis of race, and an interim map drawn by federal judges in Texas was blocked by the Supreme Court. This afternoon, the justices will hear oral arguments in a case intended to sort this mess out — and which presents at least some degree of risk that the conservative Court could strike down an essential part of the Voting Rights Act.