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Appeal filed in country redistricting lawsuit

From the Chron:

Commissioners Court interim map

Activists who believe a now-adopted Harris County redistricting plan illegally dilutes Latino votes in the only Latino-opportunity commissioner precinct are set to appeal a ruling made at the beginning of the month.

In her long-anticipated decision, issued Aug. 1, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said the plaintiffs, led by Houston City Councilmen James Rodriguez and Ed Gonzalez, were unable to demonstrate that a map adopted two years ago by the Harris County Commissioners Court was unconstitutional or that race was the predominant factor in the design of the plan.

The notice of appeal was filed Thursday in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by plaintiffs’ attorney Chad Dunn, general counsel for the Texas Democratic Party.

The initial lawsuit, which went to trial in November, was filed in 2011 as the Commissioners Court prepared to adopt a map with precinct boundaries based on the 2010 census. After the ruling, the court adopted those boundaries at a meeting on Aug. 13.

See here for the previous update. The appeal was filed Friday. I have no idea what kind of schedule to expect for this, but if there’s going to be a ruling in time for the 2014 primaries, we’re going to need one sooner rather than later.

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One Comment

  1. mollusk says:

    My read of the tea leaves is that Judge Gilmore’s decision will stand. In general, she is more liberal than the 5th Circuit. The appellate court generally doesn’t get to gather evidence beyond what was presented to the trial court. The next step, though, is to see if she stays the judgment pending appeal.