The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider an appeal of Texas congressional redistricting brought by 11 state Senate Democrats who fled the state last year to prevent a quorum and thus block debate on the matter. In spite of the Democrats’ absence, Republicans, who control both houses of the state legislature, created a new map that heavily favors the GOP and almost guarantees continued Republican domination of the U.S. House for years to come. The High Court’s refusal to take the case upholds a lower court decision in favor of the GOP map.
Gridlock prevented the Texas legislature from drawing a map after the 2000 census, when Democrats controlled the state House and Republicans controlled the Senate and the governor’s mansion. A panel of federal judges created a map at the time, and after the 2002 elections put Republicans in charge, they argued that they still had a constitutional duty to create a new map.
The map is not completely out of the woods yet, since other legal challenges remain, but it now will almost certainly be in place for the 2004 election.