Federal court issues new political maps for Texas

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A federal court on Thursday issued temporary political maps for the 2012 election in Texas that some say will give Democrats a greater chance of winning seats in the Legislature.

The maps, which still must be given final court approval, will remain in place for state House and Senate districts until there is a resolution to lawsuits filed over the Legislature's proposals — likely through the 2012 elections. The court is expected to also release a proposal for new congressional districts.

Republicans have acknowledged they are not likely to hold on to the 101-49 supermajority they have in the Texas House. Still Democrats argue that the GOP map drawers went too far in trying to preserve their power.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office, which is representing the state, was reviewing the maps and "working to prepare a response as directed by the court," spokeswoman Lauren Bean said.

Democrats and minorities have complained that the maps drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature prevent minority groups from electing their choice of candidate.

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