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The Nation

Redistricting Battle Moves to Court

October 15, 2003|From Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The battle over congressional redistricting shifted from the state Capitol to federal court as Democrats filed a motion to block implementation of a new Republican-backed map until at least the 2004 election cycle.

U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, a Democrat, said the new plan is an unconstitutional attempt to guarantee victory for seven Republican politicians and reduces the number of minority districts in Texas from 11 to 10.

Republicans have said the new map adds a new minority district in Houston and another in south Texas. Republicans pushed for new congressional districts this year even though it was a noncensus year, saying that lawmakers -- not judges -- should draw the boundaries. Democrats fought the bill's passage, staging two boycotts of the Texas Legislature.

Republicans could win seven additional seats in the state's congressional delegation, which Democrats now dominate, 17 to 15. Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed the bill into law Monday.

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