Supreme Court adds Texas election districts challenge to others from Wisconsin, Maryland

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Jackley tells KELO.com News that the state is losing millions in sales taxes and "sticks and bricks" retailers in South Dakota are hurting because online retailers are not forced to collect state sales tax.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito temporarily blocked the court's ruling that the districts needed to be redrawn. "Protecting the free flow of interstate commerce from overreaching state tax laws is critically important to ensure a healthy and vibrant marketplace and economy". Its legislature imposed a sales tax on online retailers who sell to customers in the state, knowing that the state would be struck down unless the Supreme Court changed its mind. "This longstanding case needs to reach closure, not just to secure appropriate permanent remedies for egregious violations of the Voting Rights Act, but to provide guidance for the next round of redistricting in 2021 when Latinos will once more account for increased congressional representation in Texas and other states", Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel, said in a statement.

Even though 17 of the top 18 online retailers have begun collecting sales taxes, states project that they could lose $34 billion this year.

State lawyers were cheered two years ago when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the court should "reexamine" the 1992 decision in Quill Corp. v. Systemax agreed to collect the tax, while the other companies contested the state law.

Wisconsin Democrats are challenging the entire statewide map of state Assembly districts based in part on the Constitution's equal protection clause. A victory for challengers in either case could place other states' districts in jeopardy as well.

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On Friday, the Justices accepted the invitation.

The online retailers challenging the law - Wayfair, Overstock and Newegg - argued the issue should be left to Congress, which has tried for years to find a compromise.

The case is expected to draw a long list of supporters and opponents of South Dakota's challenge. The fact that the Court is reconsidering the old doctrine does not necessarily mean it will overrule it, but Justice Kennedy usually has a strong influence on outcomes and the constitutional doctrine underlying the Quill precedent has strong critics among some of the more conservative Justices. Previously, there were two separate cases: One for the state's congressional map, and one for the Texas House map.

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Texas's appeal of a lower court decision to strike down the state's congressional and legislative voter maps. And last month it accepted a petition from Maryland Republicans to review the way that state's Democratic leadership redrew the lines of a congressional district held by a GOP congressman.

The court is likely to decide the case by the end of June, when its current term ends.

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