US Supreme Court to hear Texas state Senate redistricting case
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear a challenge brought by conservatives to Texas state Senate redistricting maps that they say violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of “one person-one vote.”
The challengers, backed by various conservative groups, say the districts signed into law in 2013 do not equally distribute voters because they are based on total population of each district. Some of the districts include large populations of Hispanic non-citizens who are not eligible to vote.
The districts were initially imposed by court order ahead of the 2012 elections but were later adopted by the Republican-led state legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, in 2013.
The challengers, voters Sue Evenwel and Edward Pfenninger, claim the districts violate the U.S. Constitution guarantee of equal protection under the law because they are at odds with the principle of “one person, one vote.”
Evenwel and Pfenninger are backed by the Project on Fair Representation, a conservative group that has a history of challenging laws that take race into account.
They say that in the districts where they live, which have a high proportion of people eligible to vote, their vote has less weight than it would in districts with a low proportion of potential voters.
The court will hear oral arguments in the case in its next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2016.
The case is Evenwel v. Abbot, U.S. Supreme Court, 14-940.