The Supreme Court on Friday instructed a lower court in Texas to take a fresh look at election maps it had drawn in place of a competing set of maps from the Texas Legislature. The justices said the lower court had not paid enough deference to the Legislatureâ€™s choices and had improperly substituted its own values for those of elected officials.
The courtâ€™s unanimous decision extends the uncertainty surrounding this major voting-rights case, which could help determine control of the House of Representatives.
â€śTo avoid being compelled to make such otherwise standardless decisions,â€ť the Supreme Courtâ€™s unsigned decision said, â€śa district court should take guidance from the stateâ€™s recently enacted plan in drafting an interim plan. That plan reflects the stateâ€™s policy judgments on where to place new districts and how to shift existing ones in response to massive population growth.â€ť
Justice Clarence Thomas issued a concurring opinion, saying he would have instructed the elections to proceed under the Legislatureâ€™s maps.