The battle over redistricting in Texas continues in a pair of high courts as well as the state legislature, which is meeting in special session to possibly adopt district lines originally expected to be temporary.
A federal district court in San Antonio on Wednesday met with attorneys for both the state and groups alleging the new districts are discriminatory towards minorities and must be redrawn.
State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (TX-116), a member of the House redistricting committee, was in San Antonio for the hearing and said the special session called by Gov. Rick Perry will only create more legal issues.
"I think the litigants have made it very clear that doesn't end things it just begins a new round of litigation," said Martinez Fischer.
The court Wednesday allowed both sides another week to provide new briefs with election information from the 2012 primaries, which were delayed by two months because of lawsuits against original redistricting maps approved by the state legislature.
"The only way we can really resolve redistricting is to get all litigants at the table who have made a very compelling case of potential discrimination, of retrogression of minority voters and come up with a fair and final settlement for the course of the decade," he said, adding that he does not expect that to happen.
The federal court raised new questions after Perry called the special session on Monday.
The limited scope of the session, which only calls for the legislature to approve the maps used in 2012 elections, presented new issues for the court with regards to the current lawsuit. Those maps were drawn by a trio of federal judges in San Antonio.
While both sides agree the maps for the state senate are acceptable, minority groups still have concerns over the maps used for the state House and Congressional races.
Martinez Fischer and others argued that instead of calling the special session now, the state should wait for the federal court's ruling as well as the Supreme Court's ruling on whether the new maps violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
"It makes sense to wait because it's certainly going to have an impact with how we proceed with redistricting and there's no sense in us having a legislative fight and a brand new round of litigation when the Supreme Court could make things very very clear to us," he said.
The Supreme Court's ruling is expected by the end of June. The Texas House and Senate will hold public hearings on the maps Thursday through Saturday.
"State-wide, we're talking about a significant number of minorities whose voices will not be heard because of the manipulation of maps," he said. "Of the 4 million Texans that grew this state over the course of the last decade, 89 percent of them were minority and many of us believe that their viewpoints weren't taken into account when these maps were drawn and that's that basis of the litigation."