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Federal court rejects Texas redistricting maps

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US District CourtA U.S. federal court ruled on Tuesday that controversial Texas redistricting maps discriminate against black and Hispanic voters, effectively killing the new districts before they could take effect for the November 6 presidential election.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the ruling. The state maps, passed by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature, redrew districts in a way that reduced the influence of minority voters, the court ruled.

November's election will likely use interim maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio instead.

The Obama administration in 2011 blocked the maps, arguing they violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a law designed to protect the voting rights of minorities, primarily blacks in Southern states.

In rejecting the maps, the court could have stopped at ruling that they had a discriminatory effect, but it took the further step of ruling that the Texas legislature had a discriminatory intent in its drawing of the maps.

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