Which Way Out of Texas?

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As a result of a large growth in population Texas has gained a number of Congressional and State Legislative seats.

When it came time to draw up new electoral maps the Texas Legislature, which is controlled by Republicans, not surprisingly came up with a map favoring Republican candidates.

Also not surprisingly the Legislatures’ maps were challenged in a federal court in San Antonio under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Meanwhile, Texas is one of those States that fall under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and are required to get pre-clearance from either the Department of Justice or a special three-judge court in DC.  The Texas Republicans chose to go to the three-judge court for approval, but the court has yet to act.

So, with primaries looming the San Antonio court drew up its own set of electoral maps that strengthen the Hispanic vote, and presumably help Democrats.

Texas appealed to the Supreme Court to block the court drawn map, and the Justices today heard arguments in the case.

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Mike Sacks’ take on the arguments is here.

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About

Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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