Just a few hours after it put an order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on hold in the litigation over President Donald Trump’s “travel ban,” the Supreme Court blocked two more lower-court orders, which had invalidated two of Texas’ federal congressional districts and the state’s maps for the lower house of the Texas legislature. The lower courts’ original orders, issued last month, had given the Texas governor three days to decide whether to call a special session of the legislature, and it directed the state to be ready to redraw the maps by early September. Tonight’s rulings by the Supreme Court put those orders on hold to give the state time to file its appeals; they will remain on hold until the justices rule on those appeals.
Texas’ request had gone first to Justice Samuel Alito, who – acting alone – temporarily blocked the lower-court rulings while the challengers responded to the state’s requests. Those responses were due last week. But once the briefing on the stay requests was finished, Alito referred the disputes to the full court, which acted tonight. Unlike tonight’s order in the travel ban case, four justices noted their disagreement with the court’s orders in the federal congressional and Texas House cases: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan indicated that they would have denied the state’s applications.