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Texas Voting District Maps Head To Court

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AUSTIN (AP) – Opponents of a new Republican congressional redistricting plan in Texas are hoping to prove in federal court the plan illegally dilutes minority voting strength.

A trial to determine the legality of the redrawn congressional and state House districts is set to begin Tuesday before a three-judge panel in San Antonio. Several lawsuits filed against the plans have been consolidated into one and will be considered during the nine-day trial.

The new congressional map was designed by the GOP-led Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry. It was drawn with the goal of protecting and possibly expanding the GOP’s 23-9 majority in Texas’ delegation in Washington.

Democrats argue the Republican plan splits Hispanic and black communities so that conservative white residents would be more likely to win seats in Congress.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)