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Paxton joins defense of Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering

Of course he does.

Best mugshot ever

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is backing Wisconsin in a high-profile case asking the U.S. Supreme Court whether lawmakers can go too far when drawing political maps to advantage one party.

Paxton, a Republican, filed an amicus brief seeking to protect the status quo in political gerrymandering — redistricting maneuvers that allow controlling parties to bolster their majorities in state Legislatures and Congress even when statewide demographics shift against them.

“Never has the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed a legislative map because of partisan gerrymandering, and it surely can’t find fault with Wisconsin’s, which is lawful, constitutional and follows traditional redistricting principles,” Paxton said in a statement Tuesday.

[…]

It’s unclear how the Wisconsin case could directly affect the pending case in Texas, because of the different timelines and arguments being made. And the Supreme Court must also decide whether it has the jurisdiction to rule in the Wisconsin case, a question it left open in accepting the challenge.

But if the high court ultimately establishes a new limit on the role politics can play in redistricting, it would almost certainly affect map-drawing in Texas going forward and give opponents of Texas’ current maps a new avenue to challenge them.

See here for some background, and here for the Paxton brief. It’s unlikely this case will affect the current one, at least at this time, but it could make a difference of some kind down the line. At this point, anything that legally restricts gerrymandering will hinder the Republicans, though of course some day the shoe may be on the other foot. But for now, the reason why Paxton would want to pitch in is obvious.

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