By Associated Press - Thursday, August 31, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered Texas to hold off on partially redrawing statehouse maps before next year’s elections.

A stay issued Thursday by Justice Samuel Alito is the second time the court has told Texas to wait on voting maps that a lower court says are fouled by racial gerrymandering.

A three-judge panel earlier this month ruled that statehouse districts in four Texas counties need to be redrawn before 2018 elections.

Alito’s action is intended to delay a lower court hearing scheduled for next month on the issue until the full Supreme Court can weigh in.

A similar action by Alito on Monday temporarily blocked a separate lower court ruling for Texas to redraw some of its congressional districts that have similarly been struck down as discriminatory.

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