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Texas Attorney General Asks Supreme Court to Halt New Map

Texas officials have filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the state’s new Congressional map.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) asked the country’s highest court for a stay to stop the interim map that will likely deliver three House seats to Democrats in 2012.

The Lone Star State acquired four new House seats in 2012 because of a population increase over the past decade. Texas Republicans passed an aggressive map in July that’s been winding its way through the federal courts ever since.

A federal court in San Antonio adopted an interim Congressional map last week following a trial during which plaintiffs argued that the passed map did not sufficiently reflect minority voting power. A separate trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to determine whether the map will receive pre-clearance is also ongoing.

In the filing, Abbot argued that federal judges in San Antonio overreached by crafting their own map before the other trial finished.

“The court’s interim order should be immediately stayed, and the case should be remanded with instructions to withhold interim relief unless some likely violation of law is found and to defer to the legislatively enacted map as required by this Court’s precedents,” Texas officials wrote in their request for an emergency stay.

Abbott’s filing is not unexpected. Earlier this week, he filed similar requests with the Supreme Court for his state’s court-drawn legislative maps.

Texas officials are running out of time to stop the map. Candidate filing opened earlier this week and is scheduled to finish Dec. 15, according to the secretary of state’s website.

Under the Voting Rights Act, Texas is one of about a dozen states that require pre-clearance approval from the Justice Department or a federal court before any changes to their voting laws, including new maps, are implemented.

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