“Americans are Angry.” So say writers Matt Bertz and Jeff Cork in an article entitled “The Enemy Within”, in the December 2011 edition of Game Informer. And with the article revolving around a central concept that is sure to raise concern with the group “Oathkeepers”, they follow up by asking: “Do you have what it…Details
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by Lyle Denniston, SCOTUSblog
The Supreme Court, working late on a Friday, agreed to rule on the constitutionality of three redistricting plans drawn up by a federal court for the two houses of the Texas legislature and its 36-member U.S. House of Representatives delegation, and put those court-ordered maps on hold temporarily. The Court called for expedited briefing, and set a hearing on the cases for Jan. 9 at 1 p.m. The Justices’ action gave Texas much of what its lawyers had sought in their challenge to the three-judge U.S. District Court’s interim maps, which were crafted for use in the 2012 election cycle. The Court’s order is here. It raises the strong possibility of a major new ruling on the power of federal judges to draw up redistricting plans while a state legislature’s own maps are under challenge in court.
Although the state had initially sought only a stay of the interim redistricting plans, it suggested as an alternative that the Court take on the cases itself, and issue a prompt ruling. That is what the Justices agreed to do, putting the cases on its docket for review as 11-713 (the Texas state house case), 11-714 (the Texas state senate case), and 11-715 (the congressional delegation case). What the Court did not do was order any immediate change in the way Texas candidates go about signing up to run in the 2012 primary, now set for March 6. Cases 11-713 and 11-715 go by the same title, Perry, et al., v. Perez, et al., and case 11-714 is titledPerry, et al., v. Davis, et al.
Candidates began filing for seats in the legislature and in the House of Representatives on Nov. 28, and the filing period now in effect was to continue until Dec. 15. Friday’s order made no immediate change in that. It was unclear whether the filing period is now to be interrupted until after the cases are decided, and, if not, what districts would actually be used for purposes of candidates’ filing in the meantime. The three maps drawn by the state legislature earlier this year supposedly cannot be used, because their validity under federal voting rights law and the Constitution is now under review by a different U.S. District Court, in Washington. And the interim districts crafted by the District Court in San Antonio cannot be used because they are now stayed by the Justices’ order.Details