Testimony from the US Department of Justice:
– The US takes no position on the date of the primaries. However, Texas must allow 45 days for military and overseas voters, so shortening the 45 day window could disenfranchise these voters. April primary very unlikely.
– It is up to the DC Court to determine violations of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The San Antonio Court should not be determining what does or does not violate Section 5.
– The Congressional map must increase at least 1 minority opportunity district. Because minorities represent over 80% of the total population growth in the state, leaving the number of minority districts the same would violate Section 5.
– HD 149, represented by Hubert Vo in Houston, is a coalition district and thus is protected. The legislatively passed maps paired Vo with Democrat Scott Hochberg. The US Supreme Court has never said that coalition districts can not be created. Protections apply to individual groups (African Americans and Hispanics) as well as to both together.
I expect the primaries to take place on May 29th, but as always, that could change.
More to come…