Court hears Texas case
on makeup of districts
A split U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday grappled with the "one person, one vote" principle, hearing a case that might transform how legislative maps are drawn and reduce Hispanic clout in elections.
The court is weighing whether states and local governments can continue the decades-old practice of using total population as the basis for drawing equal-sized voting districts. Two Texas voters say the measure should instead be eligible voters, an approach that would reduce representation for areas with lots of children and noncitizens.
The session didn't give a clear indication how the court will rule. The justice who often serves as the pivot on the court, Anthony M. Kennedy, suggested he was still wrestling with the issue.
The Texas case directly affects only state redistricting, though it has the potential to influence congressional maps as well. - Bloomberg
Mom guilty of assault
A Hawaii mother was convicted Tuesday of assaulting her 15-month-old daughter during a May flight from Alaska to Honolulu. Samantha Watanabe's defense was that she didn't do anything beyond permissible parental discipline during a long flight with a fussy tot. Prosecutors say she was unreasonably rough with the generally well-behaved girl. Watanabe, who is five months pregnant with her seventh child, faces up to a year in jail. - AP
Cuba returns fugitive
An Indiana man wanted on firearms charges was brought back from Cuba to Florida by federal marshals Tuesday, marking the first fugitive to be turned over to the U.S. since the two nations renewed relations this year. Shawn Wegmann, an alleged enforcer for a Midwestern motorcycle gang, was detained by Cuban authorities Oct. 31 after he ripped off his ankle monitor, stole a 13-foot boat in Key West, and crossed the Florida Straits, authorities said Tuesday. - Miami Herald