Texas electoral maps at issue before Supreme Court

January 8, 2012 - 9:08 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal law says states and localities with a history of discrimination cannot change any voting procedures without first getting approval from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington.

Yet Texas is asking the Supreme Court to allow the use of new, unapproved electoral districts in this year's voting for Congress and the state Legislature.

The outcome of the high court case could be another blow to a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. Arguments are set for Monday.

In 2009, the justices raised doubts about whether Southern states still should need approval in advance of voting changes more than 40 years after the law was enacted.

The legal fight over Texas' political maps arose from the state's huge population gain in the 2010 census.