The U.S. Supreme Court Friday slapped the hands of the three San Antonio judges who drew up an alternate set of district maps, ordering them to try again.
Eleven days after oral arguments, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the lower court’s maps did not hew closely enough to those created by the Texas legislature, Adam Liptak reported in the New York Times.
“A district court should take guidance from the state’s recently enacted plan in drafting an interim plan,” the Supreme Court’s decision said. “That plan reflects the state’s policy judgments on where to place new districts and how to shift existing ones in response to massive population growth.”
Clarence Thomas was the only justice to push the state to use the same maps the legislature drew up. “Texas’ duly enacted redistricting plans should govern the upcoming elections,” Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion.
So what is the San Antonio district court supposed to do, exactly? Well, according to lawyer Michael Li of the Texas Redistricting Blog, the justices asked the San Antonio court “to explain in some detail in writing what it is doing when drawing interim maps.” This will likely require more arguments, but currently all the lawyers in the case are tied up in a different redistricting court case in Washington.