Texas defends redistricting map at federal hearing
January 17, 2012 at 9:46 PM CST - Updated June 26 at 7:51 AM
By HENRY C. JACKSON Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawyers for the state of Texas are arguing that Democrats and minority groups had ample time to weigh in on redistricting maps that are being challenged in federal court.
Attorney Adam Mortara gave opening remarks Tuesday at the start of a two-week hearing on the maps in Washington.
A panel of 3 federal judges will determine whether the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature violated the federal Voting Rights Act when it redrew Texas' legislative and congressional districts this year.
Districts are redrawn every 10 years to reflect population changes in the U.S. Census. But the Justice Department, Democrats and minority groups say Texas' maps don't adequately distribute political power among the state's Latinos and African-Americans.
Mortara argues Democrats had "enormous" influence before the new maps were finalized.
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