Argument analysis: Redistricting again divides justices

The 2010 census brought good news for Texas. In the 10 years since the last census, it had gained nearly four million residents, which translated into four more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Those changes would require the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to draw new maps for both Congress and the statehouse, which it did in 2011. Since then, the state has been embroiled in litigation over its redistricting efforts, which continued at the Supreme Court this morning. But after nearly 80 minutes of oral argument, it wasn’t entirely clear where the justices were headed, or whether they would reach the merits of the case at all. Today’s oral argument was the dispute’s second trip to the Supreme Court. In 2012, the justices threw out maps that a three-judge district court had drawn and ordered the lower court to draw new maps for the 2012 elections. In 2013, the Texas legislature adopted those court-drawn new maps, but last year the…

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