From Michael Li’s “Texas Redistricting” Web site, earlier today: The D.C. district court has set trial in Texas’ voter ID suit for July 9-13. That’s nearly three weeks earlier than requested by the Justice Department and intervenors. However, the court also directed that issues related to the constitutionality of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act be bifurcated from the main trial and said that those issues would “not be addressed unless the Court denies judicial preclearance of Senate Bill .” Since that means that hearings on constitutional issues would take place only after a ruling on the preclearance claims (by definition some time after the July 13 end of trial), that would seem to make it less likely that the constitutional issues could be teed up in time to get them to the Supreme Court before the November elections. The court’s scheduling order set a discovery cutoff of June 15 for both fact and expert testimony and directed that any dispositive motions (such as a motion for summary judgment) be filed by June 18. Li is an indispensable resource on the topic of redistricting. I appreciate the opportunity to publish his report with his permission.
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