On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with conservatives in two closely-watched cases. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request to stay a lower federal court’s decision that ordered the state to redraw election maps, and the president’s request to reinstate his travel ban on those arriving in the U.S. From six predominantly-Muslim nations were both granted by the court. Both decisions temporarily stall lower court actions until the Supreme Court has a chance to rule.
Stephen Vladeck, professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law says the court’s decisions to stay the orders of lower courts, regarding the way Texas has drawn legislative and congressional districts indicate that the High Court is likely to side with the state’s Republican leadership when the cases come before it during the upcoming term. Courts had ruled that several Texas statehouse and congressional districts were drawn to intentionally discriminate against African-Americans. That court also ordered the state to redraw its election maps. Vladeck says the Supreme Court’s decision indicates the justices are likely to rule that Texas can keep the controversial maps in place permanently.
“Yesterday’s ruling puts a pretty heavy thumb on the scale in favor of the state,” Vladeck says. “It’s still possible that they will expedite things – that they will hear arguments on the merits, and that they will rule in time to affect the 2018 primaries.”
Written by Shelly Brisbin.