High court halts new Texas electoral maps

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Texas' March primary will likely be delayed after the Supreme Court on Friday blocked the use of state legislative and congressional district maps that were drawn by federal judges.

The court issued a brief order late Friday that applies to electoral maps drawn by federal judges in San Antonio for the Texas Legislature and Congress that would have ensured minorities made up the majority in three additional Texas congressional districts. The justices said they will hear arguments on Jan. 9.

The judges issued the new maps for the 2012 election in Texas after a lawsuit was filed in San Antonio over redistricting maps drawn by the GOP-led Legislature. The maps were to remain in place until the lawsuit was resolved.

The Supreme Court's order brings to a halt filing for legislative and congressional primary elections that began Nov. 28. The primaries had been scheduled to take place in March, but the Supreme Court's decision means those elections almost certainly will be delayed, possibly until May.

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