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Supreme Court Rejects Texas Redistricting Attempt

Tamir Kalifa
AP photo

With its controversial voter ID law, Texas has become ground zero for the battle over who should be allowed to vote. But now, reports The New York Times, the US Supreme Court has made the voting issue in the state even more controversial. On Monday the high court ruled that, when drawing the lines for voting districts, Texas could account for all of the residents in the district—not just eligible voters. The ruling was a big setback for conservatives, who had hoped to redistrict the state’s population according to the number of eligible voters. The Supreme Court, in essence, upheld the one-person-one-vote principle that has governed most redistricting in the US for decades.

However, on the matter of whether other population formulas could be used to draw new voting districts, the court remained silent. And GOP controlled states will probably attempt such a maneuver after the next census in 2020. The redistricting is seen by many as a method of limiting the political power of minorities. By only counting eligible voters, areas with large numbers of children—generally low-income or immigrant neighborhoods—would find their political might diluted.