The federal courts must redraw the maps created by the Republican-controlled Legislature because of two parallel lawsuits that have yet to be resolved. Because Texas has a history of racial discrimination, any changes to electoral law must be approved either by the Department of Justice or the federal court in Washington. A three judge panel in Washington declined to approve the maps and the justice department said they discriminated against minorities.
Minority groups also brought a lawsuit against the state in San Antonio, asking the federal court to block the maps because they dilute the voting power of minorities. Pending an outcome of the Washington case, the San Antonio court must draw temporary maps.
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