From Texas Redistricting:
What happens now in the Supreme Court?
With the filing of motions to affirm or dismiss last week by the Justice Department and intervenors, Texas’ appeal of the preclearance ruling is now ready for review by the Justices.
Under Rule 18 of the Supreme Court rules, the clerk of the Supreme Court must submit the briefs to the Justices by December 17. (While the state has the right under the court’s rules to respond to the motions filed last week by DOJ and the intervenors, the rules provide that the submission of the case to the Justices “will not be deferred pending its receipt” and the author understands that the state has already told the clerk that it will not be submitting any additional briefs.)
Because the Justices have already finished the December series of conferences where they review cases, the earliest opportunity the Justices will have to decide what to do with the Texas redistricting case would be at their January 4 conference. After that, the Justices have conferences scheduled January 11 and 18 and then February 15 and 22.
Though the deadline was yesterday, the briefs were submitted to the Justices last week for their consideration at their January 4 conference. Which doesn’t mean they will consider it at that time, but they could, and if they decide to affirm the ruling, which would be the best thing to happen from the intervenors’ perspective, or to dismiss the appeal (the next-best thing), that could come down as soon as January 7. There’s a lot more than this, so go click over and read it, and see here for some background. The state would like for nothing to happen until the Shelby County challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has taken place. We’ll know what SCOTUS intends to do when they’re damn good and ready to tell us.