Supreme Court will take up Texas redistricting case

Supreme Court will take up Texas redistricting case

With elections looming, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it will review two lower-court rulings that ordered Texas to redraw 11 political districts found to be discriminatory. North Dakota, which involved a mail-order company that tried to gain the right for states to collect taxes on companies selling products remotely to customers in the state. "Unfortunately, antiquated sales tax collection rules have resulted in an uneven playing field that's making it harder for Main Street retailers to compete in today's digital economy".

Critics of the 1992 decision say it no longer fits a world where much of our commerce happens, at least in part, online.

The state estimates that in the current fiscal year it would fail to collect around $50 million in revenue that it would be able to obtain if it could force online retailers to collect sales tax.

State lawyers were cheered two years ago when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the court should "reexamine" the 1992 decision in Quill Corp. v.

In its brief to the Supreme Court, the National Retail Federation said that software is now widely available that makes it easy for retailers to collect sales tax.

More news: Arizona GOP Rep. Martha McSally announces Senate bid

In defiance of Quill, some states have come up with laws requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on their behalf from in-state residents. South Dakota, extended the "physical presence" rule but only for sales taxes on non-state sellers. The state needs its tax revenues because its state constitution requires that the state government budget be balanced. Systemax agreed to collect the tax, while the other companies contested the state law. The state then sued three online retailers that refused to obey: Wayfair Inc., Overstock.com, Inc., and Newegg, Inc. "The action throughout the nation is extensive and complex", the state's appeal said.

"We are eager for the chance to present our case before the U.S. Supreme Court", said Paxton, a Republican who has argued that the two Texas maps were not meant to discriminate against minority voters.

Friday's decision to combine the Texas cases and hear oral arguments in the spring came nearly four months after the Supreme Court, acting on a Texas request, blocked the lower court's efforts to begin redrawing the districts to allow time to consider whether to review the rulings.

Meanwhile, members of the state legislature in North Carolina have asked the Supreme Court to put on hold a new ruling by a lower federal court striking down the map for electing the state's 13 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. That case, along with the one from Texas, is likely to be heard this spring and decided by June.

The appeal from Texas is apart of an effort to bring back Republican-drawn electoral districts for congressional and state legislative seats.

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