SAN ANTONIO, TX – Texas voting rights and wrongs are under scrutiny in San Antonio.
The U.S. district court starts the first of several trials over the way the Texas Legislature drew boundaries for the state House and Senate, and for congressional districts back in 2011 and 2013.
These will be the first trials since the US Supreme Court last year said states with a history of racial discrimination, like Texas, no longer need federal approval to change election rules and set boundaries.
First up is the fight over the House districts. The federal court redrew in 2012 after finding that the Republican-controlled legislature deliberately tried to weaken the minority vote, which is historically democratic in Texas.
Texas now has a different map for state House districts, but minority groups want the federal court to say that the Legislature intentionally discriminated against minority voters.
That would then open the way for the courts to step in and force Texas to get pre-clearance under the Voting Rights Act.
Next month the same court will hear arguments in the way the state drew congressional districts in 2011.
And then, the court will do the same thing for the maps drawn by the Legislature in 2013 as the political parties continue their seemingly endless map quest regarding voting rights and wrongs.