By PAUL J. WEBER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Minority rights groups on Thursday told federal judges that Texas needs new election maps for 2018, which would likely boost Democratic candidates, following three recent court findings that Republicans intentionally discriminated against Hispanic and black voters.
Redrawn districts in Texas could bolster Democratic efforts to reclaim Congress in the first midterm election under President Donald Trump. It could also swing seats in the Texas Legislature, where Republicans showed their dominance overnight Thursday, passing a ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” that empowers local police to enforce federal immigration law against anyone detained.
A three-judge panel in San Antonio did not immediately decide a next step. Since March, the same court has found intentional discrimination in both congressional and Statehouse maps originally drawn by Republicans in 2011, a year after U.S. Census Bureau figures showed that minorities were driving Texas’ explosive growth.