WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in a Texas political dispute, rejecting judge-drawn election maps favoring minority candidates andDemocrats in the 2012 congressional and state legislature elections.


In its first ruling on political boundary-drawing based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the high court unanimously set aside the interim maps created by federal judges in San Antonio.

The high court said it was unclear whether the judges in Texas followed the appropriate standards, and sent the cases back for further proceedings.

At issue were the maps that Texas will use in its primary contests set for April 3 that will decide party candidates for congressional and state legislature elections in November.

The dispute had been closely watched because it could help decide whetherRepublicans or Democrats gain as many as four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

The Supreme Court cases are Perry v. Perez, No 11-713; Perry v. Davis, No. 11-714, and Perry v. Perez, No. 11-715.

(Reporting By James Vicini;Editing by Doina Chiacu)