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Texas Election Maps Trial Begins

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(credit: capitol.state.tx.us)

(credit: capitol.state.tx.us)

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A federal trial over Texas election maps is giving the Obama administration a chance to argue that the Voting Rights Act should still apply to the state — despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling weakening it.

The case opened Monday and U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey of Fort Worth has testified.

At issue are statehouse and congressional districts drawn by the GOP-dominated Legislature in 2011.

The trial comes a year after the high court found that Texas and other states with a history of voting discrimination no longer need federal permission to change elections laws, undermining much of the federal act.

But the Justice Department says Texas still needs approval. It points to a little-known portion of the act saying state and local governments need permission if intentional discrimination is found.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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