AUSTIN, Texas – The state Supreme Court on Friday rejected a Democrat-favored map of new congressional districts, ruling that the map should not be used in a federal trial over the state's redistricting.
The all-Republican court's 6-3 decision was the latest step in a series of court battles over redistricting. A federal trial over how the district lines will be drawn is set to begin Monday.
The high court agreed with Republicans that Judge Paul Davis' plan was improperly switched at the last minute from an earlier map that the GOP supported. Parties should have had a chance to examine and cross-examine witnesses and evidence before Davis changed the map, the majority wrote.
Lawyers for the Democrats argued that there was due process in the state court trial, noting that evidence was heard for two weeks.
Republican Attorney General John Cornyn, who drew the map rejected by Davis, said he was pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling.
The Texas Legislature failed to finish its redistricting job this year, so the matter went directly to the courts — first state, then federal.
In the state case, Davis restored a central Texas district he had first split. He also restored the districts of several Democratic congressmen.
In the Texas congressional delegation, Democrats have a 17-13 advantage. The state is getting two additional seats because of population growth.