Texas House Speaker Joe Straus issued the following statement this afternoon:
AUSTIN—-Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (San Antonio) today issued the following statement on the federal court’s proposed House redistricting map:
“As the panel of three federal judges prepares to issue its ruling on district lines for the Texas House of Representatives, I hope that the judges will take into account the will of the people of Texas as expressed by their elected representatives. I, along with many Members of the House, have strong concerns that the initial map released by the court last week goes much further than is necessary to correct any perceived legal defects in the recently-adopted redistricting plan.
“Members of the Texas House approved a redistricting plan that is fair and that the State’s lawyers have advised us is legal. Even if the panel of judges concludes that the new lines violate federal law in some respects, their role should be limited to making as few revisions as possible to cure those perceived defects, instead of making wholesale changes to the duly elected map.
“If the final order of the court is not substantially closer to the plan we passed, I will urge the Attorney General to seek an immediate stay from the U.S. Supreme Court so that several issues under the Voting Rights Act can be clarified before the federal judges impose their new map on Texas voters for the 2012 elections.”