With the 3-judge federal court in DC having denied the state’s summary judgment motion on VRA preclearance of the maps enacted by the legislature, we now are in the situation where the redistricting plans the legislature passed this last session cannot be used for the upcoming 2012 elections.
Therefore, the matter of what the maps for the 2012 elections will look like is in the hands of the 3-judge federal court in San Antonio.
The San Antonio court already has moved the filing deadlines back (Nov. 28th-Dec. 15th) for the 2012 primaries. And it just canceled a hearing that had been scheduled for this coming Monday, giving as one of its reasons the opportunity to work on developing interim maps.
So, it is clear that interim redistricting maps (for use in the 2012 elections for Congress, House, and Senate) will be issued by the San Antonio court sometime in the next two weeks, nearly certainly no later than before Thanksgiving.
These interim maps will likely be developed working off the current districts rather than the ones drawn by the legislature this last session. While much remains to be seen, the chances of improved, fairer redistricting maps for Congress, Senate, and House are far higher than they appeared to be before we started this litigation.