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State of Texas v. United States of America

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


November 8, 2011

STATE OF TEXAS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND ERIC H. HOLDER, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES DEFENDANTS, AND WENDY DAVIS, ET. AL., INTERVENOR-DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

Plaintiff State of Texas seeks summary judgment and a declaration that (1) the State's proposed redistricting plans for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Texas House of Representatives, and the Texas State Senate*fn1 neither have the purpose nor will have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority and otherwise fully comply with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1973c; and (2) that the State's redistricting plans for the U.S. House of Representatives, Texas House of Representatives, and Texas State Senate may be implemented without delay.

The three-judge panel appointed to hear the case received extensive briefing and held lengthy oral argument on November 2, 2011. If any one of the plans is not precleared by this Court at this stage in the proceedings, the District Court for the Western District of Texas must designate a substitute interim plan for the 2012 election cycle by the end of November.*fn2 See Perez v. Texas, No. 11-360, Am. Order [Dkt. # 391] (W. D. Tex. Oct. 4, 2011) (consolidated action). Therefore, the Court issues its Order promptly and will issue a memorandum opinion hereafter.

Having carefully considered the entire record and the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes that the State of Texas used an improper standard or methodology to determine which districts afford minority voters the ability to elect their preferred candidates of choice and that there are material issues of fact in dispute that prevent this Court from entering declaratory judgment that the three redistricting plans meet the requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. See 42 U.S.C. 1973c.

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. # 41] is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.

/s/ THOMAS B. GRIFFITH United States Circuit Judge

/s/ ROSEMARY M. COLLYER United States District Judge

/s/ BERYL A. HOWELL United States District Judge


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