The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reversed a lower court ruling that found a number of Texas congressional and statehouse districts were discriminatory and needed to be redrawn.
With the exception of House District 90 in Fort Worth, held by Democrat Ramon Romero, the court ruled in a 5-4 opinion that the other 10 statehouse districts and two congressional districts ruled discriminatory by a district court in San Antonio were lawful.
The ruling is a major victory for the state, which had argued its maps could not be discriminatory because lawmakers drawing them followed the road map laid out by the San Antonio district court. The lower court’s ruling would have opened up inroads for further Democratic growth in the state’s statehouse and congressional maps.
“The court rightly recognized that the Constitution protects the right of Texans to draw their own legislative districts, and rejected the misguided efforts by unelected federal judges to wrest control of Texas elections from Texas voters,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written statement. “This is a huge win for the Constitution, Texas, and the democratic process. Once again, Texans have the power to govern themselves.”
While arguing the case in April, the more liberal Supreme Court justices had questioned whether they should have jurisdiction.