The Court, 5-4, affirmed in part and reversed in part. The majority held there was jurisdiction to hear the case as the panel order practically enjoined Texas from using its federal and state house districting plan by ordering Texas to remedy the identified infirmities within an unrealistic timeframe or the panel would do so on its own and review is thus available under 28 USC 1253 as allowing the district court label to control would thwart congressional intent to allow Supreme court review. It held the panel erred in placing the burden of proof on Texas instead of Perez, erred in imputing discriminatory intent to the 2013 plan from a never used 2011 plan, erred in refusing to apply the presumption of legislative good faith and this error was central to the panel majority’s analysis.
The Court’s first holding addressed its jurisdiction to hear the case. 28 U.S.C. §1253 authorizes the Court to hear an appeal of an order from a three-judge court “granting or denying … an interlocutory or permanent injunction.” The issue before the Court was whether the orders, which did not refer to the relief as an “injunction” and expressly disclaimed the term, nevertheless met that requirement.
At trial, the district court reinforced its earlier standing ruling and found that Act 43 was unconstitutional. The election officials appealed directly to the Supreme Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1253. The Supreme Court vacated the district court’s judgment, holding that the voters had failed to establish an “injury in fact”—the “[f]oremost” requirement to demonstrate Article III standing.