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Irving Voting Case Focus Of US Supreme Court

Joe Shlabotnik

Justices deliberated Friday about whether to hear the Irving case. At issue is whether city council election districts violate the “one person, one vote” protection under the 14th Amendment. 

Eleven Irving residents sued after six single-member districts were created.  They claim that in District 1 half of the residents are undocumented and cannot vote. The lawsuit contends that gives a smaller group of eligible voters a bigger political impact than voters get in other districts, and the districts should be drawn on the basis of eligible voters.

Bob Heath is the attorney for the city of Irving.  He says big changes could result if the Supreme Court decides to hear the case and rules for the eleven Irving residents.

“Every redistricting in the state of Texas was done on total population," Heath said. " So, if this were to change, it would be a major change.”

The Supreme Court will announce Monday morning if it will hear the case. 

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.